Legendary Pittsburgh Steeler
Lynn Curtis Swann was born on March 7, 1952, in Alcoa, Tennessee, to Willie and Mildred Swann. When he was two years old he moved with his family to California, where he began his love of both dance and football. He attended Serra High School in Foster City, later accepting a scholarship to the University of Southern California (USC), where he graduated with a degree in public relations from the USC School of Journalism. While at USC, Swann played on two Rose Bowl teams, including the 1972 National Championship team.
In 1973, his senior year, Swann was not only team captain, MVP, and selected as an All-America, he was also drafted in the first round by the Pittsburgh Steelers. The number-one draft pick of the Steelers and twenty-first overall pick in 1974, he returned 41 punts his first year for a near-record 577 yards, a 14.1-yard average, and a touchdown against the Oakland Raiders in the AFC Championship.
His gazelle-like speed, fluid movements, and leaping ability soon won him the wide-receiver position for the 1975 season, during which he recorded 49 catches for 781 yards, and a league-high 11 touchdowns, finishing with a 64-yard catch and run that produced the winning touchdown over the Dallas Cowboys in the 21-17 victory in Super Bowl X. Swann held the Spuer Bowl record that year, running 161 yards in four receptions. Swann concluded his playing career after the 1982 season.
His lifetime chart showed 336 receptions for 5,462 yards and 51 touchdowns. His 364 receiving yards in only four games ranked first in Super Bowl history at the time of his retirement. He was named All-Pro in 1975, 1977, and 1978, and was voted to the Pro Bowl after each of those seasons.
While still with the Steelers, Swann began his broadcasting career in 1976. Upon his retirement in 1983, he joined the broadcasters at ABC Sports full time. He spent 29 years with ABC Sports as a sports analyst and broadcaster before retiring in 2006. Pittsburgh has been home to Swann and his family since he joined the Steelers in 1974.
Today he remains as active off the field as he was on it. Recognized for his many achievements, he has received numerous honors for his work toward the continued growth and development of our nation's young people. He has served on many boards of directors, including the national board of directors for Big Brothers and Big Sisters of America, on which he has served since 1980. He served as their president from 1993-1995, and continues as their national spokesperson today.
On August 4, 2001, Lynn Swann, Pittsburgh Steeler #88, was enshrined into the Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. Among his many assembled supporters, friends, and fans, were his wife and two sons. In June 2002, he was selected by President George W. Bush to be chairman of the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports. He served President Bush until 2005, traveling the country and encouraging communities to take the president's challenge.
Swann was the Republican challenger in the 2006 Pennsylvania gubernatorial race. Despite his loss to incumbent Ed Rendell, he remains active in politics, and continues to fight to make a difference.