Many pro-athletes often face the dilemma of what to do once their glory days are over. Some engage in useful ventures while others simply pack on the pounds. One athlete who is doing well in retirement is Emmitt Smith. He spent 15 years in the NFL during which he established himself as one of the best running backs in the history of the league. Since retiring, he has gone on to become an author, motivational speaker, philanthropist, businessman, and TV personality.
Like most NFL players, Smith’s journey began from playing High School football. He played for Escambia High School in his hometown of Pensacola, Florida before leaving for college where he continued to hold onto his dreams firmly. He played college football for the University of Florida college program for three years before ditching it and going pro. It will interest you to know that after tasting so much success in his pro career, winning three Super Bowls, Smith went back and got his degree in Public recreation.
Emmitt Smitt Announced His Retirement in February 2005
In February 2005, Emmitt Smith announced his retirement in Jacksonville, Florida at the site of Super Bowl XXXIX. He was 35 years of age and his career had reached its peak. While he was practically a free agent at the time, having not been re-signed by the Arizona Cardinals, Smith signed a one-day contract for one dollar with the Dallas Cowboys, the team he had played with for most of his career, so he could retire from the franchise.
At the time of his retirement, Smith had already branched into so many ventures and managed to joggle all of it with the everyday stress of being a father and a husband.
He Became a Media Personality Soon After
As a player, Emmitt Smith was always a showman so it was somewhat easy for him to slip into the media and entertainment industry. To the best of our knowledge, this began in September 2005 when he made a pact to serve the NFL Total Access show on the NFL Network as a studio analyst. In the years that followed, he got to serve as a judge at the Miss Universe 2006 pageant, work with ESPN as a studio analyst, make a guest appearance on How I Met Your Mother, and most recently, appear on an episode of Deal or No Deal in 2009.
Due to his amazing success story, Smith has further become one of the most sought after motivational speakers in America, after all, everybody loves a good story of a humble beginning, steady grind, and eventual rise to stardom – it’s food for the soul.
In addition to public speaking, the retired running back and his wife Pat starred in Oprah Winfrey’s OWN reality TV show, Mr & Mrs Smith. Those that follow the show have a front-row seat in the day-to-day life of the couple and should have picked up little clues to what led to their eventual separation.
Emmitt Smith, partnering with 36 years old Cheryl Burke, also featured in Dancing with the Stars in 2006. Nobody really thought he would go far in the competition but he managed to win it. The former athlete himself said his wife thought him to be an underdog but you just have to agree, he is a man of many talents.
Smith is Also a Real Estate Developer and Co-owner of The Gents Place
You would think that a man that has seen this much action and accomplished so much would have decided to sit back, relax, and enjoy his wealth but that is not the case with Emmitt Smith. In collaboration with another cowboy legend, Roger Staubach, founder and CEO of Staubach Co, he was able to found Smith/Cypress Partners LP which he currently owns 51% of.
Smith’s interest in real estate didn’t just spring up after retirement. It’ll interest you to know that he worked for Staubach Co. when he was 27 years old during off-seasons, a time during which he learned the minute details of being a businessman. Smith/Cypress Partners focuses on investing in low profile areas and structures, developing and reselling them for profit.
The Gents Place is a premium men’s lifestyle and recreation club which serves men of all classes from the filthy rich to the everyday guy on the street. Emmitt is the sole owner and the franchise is growing like wildfire.
Emmitt Smith Got Married to Patricia Southhall in 2000
Emmitt Smith met his future wife Patricia Southhall at a music festival in Aruba. She is a former Miss Virginia USA pageant winner and the first runner-up in the Miss USA 1994 pageant. Pat has a degree in journalism from Madison University. The pair tied the knot on 22 April 2000. Pat actually married him just 3 years after concluding her divorce from popular comedian, Martin Lawrence, with whom she had a daughter.
After a few years of marriage to Smith, Pat revealed in an interview that her initial thoughts of Smith were far from lovely. But then, her impression of him changed when they started talking and she came to realize that he was actually a lovable person.
The Smiths Are Parents to Five Children
As mentioned above, Pat has a daughter from her first marriage, Jasmine Page Lawrence born January 15, 1996. Emmitt Smith himself also has a child with his ex-girlfriend Hope Wilson, a daughter named Rheagen Smith born November 2, 1998.
In addition to the aforementioned two, the couple have welcomed three kids of their own; son Emmitt James IV born May 15, 2002, daughter Skylar born October 15, 2003, and son Elijah Alexander James born September 22, 2010.
Emmitt Smith IV is already following in his father’s footsteps. While he obviously has big shoes to fill, there is no doubt that he has the genes that will enable him to have a decent career.
The Couple Announced Their Separation in August 2020
Every super story must have a grim aspect and for this couple, theirs happen to be their separation. Emmitt and Pat officially announced their intention to separate on August 1, 2020.
Examining the relationship, it’s clear that the push came from Pat, as being married to such a high profiled individual as her husband comes with its downside. It’s no secret that she told Smith that she felt neglected and was tired of standing on the sidelines and playing a supporting role to him and his dreams.
Pat once confessed in an interview that she would have preferred to marry a low profiled man so that she won’t have to stay in the background. She wrote a book titled Second Chances, wherein she explains how it felt being caged up in one’s self.