Although this legendary athlete was well-known to football fans, Smith didn't become a household name until 2006, when he was crowned the winner of the third edition of Dancing with the Stars with professional partner Cheryl Burke. A go-getter both on and off the field, the running back broke several records during his 14-year NFL career, played on three Super Bowl championship teams with the Dallas Cowboys and simultaneously maintained a stable home life with his wife and children. After retiring from the game in 2005, he had brief stints as a network studio analyst for the NFL, but had better success in philanthropic endeavors and as a businessman, helping to launch the retail real-estate company SmithCypress Partners with another Cowboy icon, Roger Staubach. And in a surprise move, he signed on to Dancing With the Stars the next year and charmed audiences with his charisma, commanding frame and deft footwork, even though he was initially considered an underdog. Elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility, Smith was presented by Cowboys owner Jerry Jones in August 2010.
Left college in 1990 after his junior year to enter the NFL draft; took classes every off-season and completed his degree in 1996 because he had promised his mother he'd graduate.
His wife, Patricia, was Miss Virginia in 1994 and runner-up in that year's Miss USA pageant.
Was the MVP of Super Bowl XXVIII.
When he retired, was the NFL's all-time leading rusher, with 18,355 yards.
Helped establish the nonprofit Open Doors Foundation for disadvantaged youth. Also works with Make-a-Wish Foundation, Salvation Army and Ronald McDonald House Charities.
Member of the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports.
Won Season 3 of ABC's Dancing With the Stars with partner Cheryl Burke.
In 2010, was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, OH, in his first year of eligibility.
Hope Wilson — Ex-significant Other
Connie — Sister
Emmitt James Smith IV — Son
Emmitt James Smith Jr. — Father
Mary Smith — Mother
Emil Smith — Brother
Jasmine Page Lawrence — Stepdaughter
Marsha — Sister
Pat Smith — Wife
Rheagen Smith — Daughter
Emory Smith — Brother
Skylar Smith — Daughter
Erik Smith — Brother
University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, United States (BA in Public Recreation, 1996)