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Larry Fitzgerald is one sportsman who has enjoyed overwhelming professional and personal success. On the field of play, the Minnesota native has notched up several records and is one of the best wide receivers in the history of the NFL. He is also renowned for his philanthropic gestures and has supported several humanitarian initiatives. On a personal basis, Fitzgerald hails from a tightknit family background and is himself the father of two children.
About Larry Fitzgerald’s Early Years and College Exploits
Larry Darnell Fitzgerald Jr. was born on the 31st of August 1983 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He grew up in Richfield, Minnesota and dabbled into football during his high school days. He performed impressively and gained a football scholarship to the University of Pittsburgh. In two years of college football, Fitzgerald featured in 26 games and tallied an astonishing 161 passes, 2,677 receiving yards, and 22 TDs. He led his school to victory in the 2002 Insight Bowl. He was also recognized as the best collegiate player for 2003. All these feats unsurprisingly caught the attention of the NFL and Fitzgerald was drafted by the Arizona Cardinals in 2004.
His Record-breaking Milestones in the NFL
Larry Fitzgerald Jr. is a loyal sportsman and has spent the entirety of his NFL career with the team that drafted him. In his 15 years with the Cardinals, he has caught at least 1,378 passes for 17,083 yards and 120 TDS. This makes the Minnesota native second on the NFL’s list of career receptions and career receiving yards. He is also the youngest player to reach 11,000 career yards as well as 1,000 receptions. Additionally, Fitzgerald is the first wide receiver in NFL history to complete at least 150 career receptions against three different franchises. He achieved this feat against the San Francisco 49ers, L.A. Rams and Seattle Seahawks.
All these exploits have established Fitzgerald as one of the best wide receivers in history. It has also fetched him several honors including NFL Pro-Bowl (11x), NFL receptions leader (2x), NFL receiving touchdowns leader (2x) and the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award (2016). The only blight on Fitzgerald’s otherwise glorious career is the fact that he has not yet been able to win the Super Bowl. He and his teammates came agonizingly close in 2009 (Super Bowl XLII) but lost out to the Pittsburgh Steelers. The wide receiver, however, remains determined and will continue to push for glory until the day he retires.
How Much Has He Earned In His Career?
There are conflicting figures on Fitzgerald’s true worth; some sources put it at $97 million while more conservative estimates peg his net worth at $50 million. Whichever it is, there is no doubt that the young man has done well for himself. Fitzgerald made his fortune from endorsement deals with the likes of Nokia, Lenovo, EAS, the University of Phoenix and Nike. The major source of his income, however, remains his salary.
The Minnesota native has signed several lucrative contract extensions including a $120 million dollar 7-year deal in August 2011. This was the fifth-largest NFL contract ever as well as the second-largest contract handed out to a non-quarterback. Larry Fitzgerald spends his fortune on making a comfortable life for himself and his family. He also utilizes it in support of several worthy causes including summer camps for youths, HIV/AIDS and breast cancer awareness as well as improving access to technology for young people.
Birthday celebration for Devin three generations of Fitzgerald’s.Jaylen-Apollo-Marcus-Larry-Larry Jr.
— Larry Fitzgerald Sr. (@FitzBeatSr)
Who Are His Baby Mamas and Children?
Larry Fitzgerald has never been married but he does have two sons. The first is Devine Fitzgerald and was born by his former girlfriend, Angela Navario. Fitzgerald and Navario dated between 2006 and 2008 during which they welcomed their son. The lady subsequently filed a suit accusing the NFL star of domestic violence. She alleged that he roughed her up while carrying their infant son and the courts granted her a restraining order. The couple’s romance thus died a natural death.
Following this whole brouhaha, Fitzgerald moved on with Illinois native, Melissa Blakesley. The two started dating in the early 2010s and welcomed a son, Apollo, in April 2013. The couple remained together for a few more years after the birth of their son but later broke up. In October 2019, Blakesley shared an Instagram post in which she mocked her ex for his inability to win the Super Bowl.
Close Relationship With His Late Mom
Larry Fitzgerald hails from a tight-knit family of four. His father, Larry Sr. is a veteran sports journalist. He has worked for different news outlets, including radio and TV stations, and has covered more than 30 Super Bowls. Fitzgerald also has a younger brother named Marcus. Marcus equally plays football but is yet to hit the Olympian heights of his elder brother. Another pivotal member of Fitzgerald’s family background was his late mother, Carol.
She died in 2003, as a result of complications arising from breast cancer treatment, and her demise devastated the NFL star. He has since set up a charity organization in her name. He also completed his college degree in May 2016 in fulfillment of a promise he made to her while she was alive.
Giving Back to the Society
Like many of his peers, Larry Fitzgerald regularly donates to charity. He also has his own First Down Foundation which, among other things, seeks to promote reading efficiency and technology access for young people. The wide receiver, however, does not stop at just providing funds but goes the extra mile to interact with people in need. Fitzgerald once embarked on a trip to India to help distribute hearing aids to poor people. He and his son have also distributed meals to the needy during Christmas.
The NFL star has since disclosed that he learned this art of giving from his late granddad and late mom. According to him, his granddad owned a foundation that provided eye care to the less-privileged while his mom worked for a charity that supports people affected by HIV/AIDS.
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