Vincent E. "Bo" Jackson
The following biographical sketch was compiled at the time of induction into the Academy in 2015.
Vincent E. "Bo" Jackson was born on November 30, 1962 in Bessemer, Alabama, the eighth of ten children born to Florence Jackson Bond. He grew up in Bessemer and graduated from McAdory High School in 1982. He then attended Auburn University, where he lettered in football, baseball and track. Jackson won consensus first team All-American Honors in football in 1983 and 1985. In 1985, he won the Heisman Trophy.
In 1986, Jackson was the first pick in the National Football League draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The same year, he was drafted in the fourth round of the Major League Baseball draft by the Kansas City Royals. He turned down Tampa Bay and went on to play four years with the Kansas City Royals. During his time with the Royals, he was selected to the 1989 Major League Baseball All-Star team and earned the Most Valuable Player Award. In 1987, Jackson signed with the Los Angeles Raiders and played both professional football and baseball for the next four years. While with the Raiders, he was selected to the National Football League Pro Bowl. He was the first professional athlete to be selected as an All-Star in two sports.
Jackson signed with the Chicago White Sox in 1991 and remained with the organization for three years. In 1994, he signed with the California Angels. Jackson was retired from all sports by 1995. Over the years, he has been active with many charities including the Children's Miracle Network, St. Jude Children's Hospital, Make-A-Wish Foundation, Marillac Foundation, United States Department of Education, and the Alabama Sheriff's Youth Ranch. He established Bo Jackson's Give Me A Chance Foundation in 2008. Jackson's vision was to establish a charitable organization dedicated to enhancing the lives of minority youth by actively supporting educational and athletic programs that guide disadvantaged kids through the challenges of achieving successful personal and professional growth. After the devastating tornadoes in his home state of Alabama in 2011, he formed Bo Bikes Bama, which is an annual bike ride to raise money to build community storm shelters.
Jackson has been President of Bo Jackson Enterprises, Inc., his management company, since 1992. He is also the President and CEO of VEJ Holdings, Inc., President of Bo Jackson Elite Sports, and is part owner and Director of Burr Ridge Bank & Trust.
In addition to his professional endeavors, Jackson has concentrated on living a quiet life in the Chicago suburb of Burr Ridge. He is married to Dr. Linda G. Jackson, and they have three children.