- Football Legend
- Dynamic Speaker
- Leader and Inspirational Social Reformer
More than a football legend, Reggie Williams is a dynamic speaker, experienced leader and inspirational social reformer.
Reggie attended Dartmouth College, where he graduated in just three and half years and was a three-time All-Ivy League linebacker in football and an Ivy League heavyweight wrestling champion (1975). The recipient of an academic scholarship, Reggie earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology in 1976 and later received an honorary Doctor of Laws in 1990.
Reggie played 14 seasons (1976-1989) at linebacker in the National Football League, all with the Cincinnati Bengals, and appeared in two Super Bowls – XVI (1982) and XXIII (1989). During his playing career, Reggie received numerous honors, including selection to the NFL All-Rookie Team (1976), the Byron “Whizzer” White Award for Humanitarian Service (1985), the NFL Man of the Year (1986), and Sports Illustrated’s Co-Sportsman of the Year (1987). In addition to his humanitarian accomplishments, Reggie was appointed to an open seat on the Cincinnati City Council in 1988 and was re-elected for a second term in 1989.
After retiring from the NFL, Reggie joined the World League of American Football as the Vice President/General Manager of the New Jersey Knights. He later rejoined the National Football League where he conceived and opened the NFL’s first Youth Education Town (YET) in Los Angeles. The program has become one of the NFL’s greatest community service success stories.
In April 1993, Reggie became the Director of Sports Development for Walt Disney World Resort. He oversaw the creation of Disney’s Wide World of Sports Complex, a state-of-the-art 220-acre multi-sport facility, and championed the effort to grow Disney’s involvement in sports. In 1998, he was named Vice President of Disney Sports Attractions, overseeing a newly created Sports & Recreation division. Under Reggie’s leadership, Disney’s sports business thrived, generating increased revenue and attendance across virtually all sports properties at Disney’s Wide World of Sports Complex, the No. 1 sports venue for amateur and professional sports in the nation. For more than a decade, his passion and vision allowed the Walt Disney Co. to reshape the sports industry, while providing unprecedented opportunities for kids of all ages.
Individually, Reggie was recognized as a leader within the Walt Disney Co., and in the world of sports, as evidenced by his No. 88 ranking in Sports Illustrated’s list of the "101 Most Influential Minorities in Sports" in May 2003. In 2005, he was named by Black Enterprise Magazine as one of the 50 Most Powerful Blacks in Sports. And in May 2007, he was named to the 2007 College Football Hall of Fame Class inducted in December 2007.
Reggie remains involved with many service organizations and projects today, including The United Way, the National Consortium for Academics and Sports and Give Kids the World. A native of Flint, Michigan, Reggie resides in Orlando, Florida, and has three sons, Julien, Jarren and Kellen.