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Franco Harris was an American football running back who played in the National Football League (NFL) for 13 seasons, primarily with the Pittsburgh Steelers. He played college football at Penn State University and was selected by the Steelers in the first round of the 1972 NFL Draft. He spent his first 12 seasons with Pittsburgh, earning nine Pro Bowl selections, and was a member of the Seattle Seahawks in his last. A four-time Super Bowl winner with the Steelers, Harris was the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of Super Bowl IX. In 1990, Harris was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Birth Name

Franco Harris

Nickname

Franco

Profession

Football Player

Playing Position

Running Back

Shirt Number

32, 34 – American

Nationality

American

Personal Life

Birthday / Date of Birth

Franco Harris was born on the 7th of March 1950, in Fort Dix, New Jersey, United States.

Died

Harris was died on the 20th of December 2022 (aged 72) (three days before the 50th anniversary of the “Immaculate Reception”), in Sewickley, Pennsylvania, United States.

Sun Sign

Gemini

Ethnicity

Multiracial

His African-American father served in World War II; his mother was a “war bride” from Italy.

Religion

Christianity

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Education

In 1968, Harris graduated from Rancocas Valley Regional High School in Mount Holly Township, New Jersey.  He then attended Penn State University, where he played on the Nittany Lions football team.

Family Details

  • Father – Cad Harris (Black soldier, served in World War II)
  • Mother – Gina Parenti Harris
  • Siblings – Pete Harris (Brother)

Marital Status

Married

Girlfriend / Spouse

Franco Harris has dated –

  • Dana Dokmanovich  Harris was married to Dana Dokmanovich. They had one son together: Franco “Dok” Harris, who ran as a third-party candidate in the 2009 Pittsburgh mayoral election and finished in second place with 25% of the vote.

Physical Statistics

Height

  • In feet – 6 feet 2 inches
  • In centimeters – 188 cm
  • In meters – 1.88 m

Weight

  • In Kilograms – 104 kg
  • In Pounds – 230 lbs

Body Build

Athletic

Eye Color

Dark Brown

Hair Color

Salt and Paper

Shoe Size

He wears a size 12 (US) shoe.

Sexuality

Straight

Professional Statistics

Famous For

Franco became known after his first season with the Steelers (1972), Harris was named the league’s Rookie of the Year by both The Sporting News and United Press International (UPI). In that season he gained 1,055 yards on 188 carries, with a 5.6 yards per carry average. He also rushed for 10 touchdowns and caught 3 touchdown passes.

Professional Career

In 1972 NFL Draft, the Pittsburgh Steelers took him 13th overall in the 1st round. From 1972 to 1983, he played for the Pittsburgh Steelers. The golden part of his career was with the Pittsburgh Steelers because he led his team to Super Bowl IX, X, XIII, and XIV championships (in 1974, 1975, 1978, and 1979). In 1984, he played for the Seattle Seahawks. After 1984, he did not have any contracts with any NFL teams.

In the sphere of the NFL, he played in 173 games. His career statistics are as follows: Rushing yards: 12120, Yards per carry: 4.1, Rush touchdowns: 91, Receptions: 307, Receiving yards: 2287, Receiving touchdowns: 9, AV: 136, FantPt: 1950.7. In 1972, Franco Harris became the NFL’s Offensive Rookie of the Year. He received the honor of being the NFL Man of the Year in 1976. In 1977, he made his name as a first-team All-Pro.

In 1972 and 1975, Franco was named to the Second-Team All-Pro. He won the honor of the Pro Bowl from 1972 to 1980. He was the NFL’s rushing touchdown leader in 1976. This man earned his place on the NFL’s 1970s All-Decade Team. He inserted his name into the Pittsburgh Steelers All-Time Team. He was received into the Pittsburgh Steelers Hall of Honor. In 1990, The name of this man was inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Franco Harris Net worth

Franco Harris has an estimated net worth of $3 million dollars as of 2023.

Social Media Profiles

Some Lesser Known Facts About Franco Harris

  • Harris was born in Fort Dix, New Jersey. His father, Cad Harris, a Black soldier, served in World War II and was stationed in Italy during the war. His mother, Gina Parenti Harris, was a native Italian and became a war bride, who moved with her husband when he returned to the United States after the end of the war.
  • He was primarily a blocker for the running back during his first year at Penn State, he amassed a career total of 2,002 yards rushing with 24 touchdowns and averaged over 5 yards per carry, while also catching 28 passes for 352 yards and another touchdown.
  • Harris was selected 13th overall in the first round of the 1972 NFL Draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers despite assistant personnel director Bill Nunn and head coach Chuck Noll preferring Robert Newhouse.
  • In 1990, Franco and his former Penn State teammate Lydell Mitchell founded Super Bakery (renamed RSuper Foods in 2006), which produced nutrition-oriented food for schoolchildren.
  • In 2007, Harris was chosen by Forest City Enterprises to lead a charitable foundation they created, related to the development of a casino for downtown Pittsburgh that would be managed by Harrah’s.
  • In January 2011, Franco became co-owner of the Pittsburgh Passion.
  • In 2019, Harris starred in the NFL’s 100th Anniversary commercial recreating the Immaculate Reception with Terry Bradshaw.
  • On December 20, 2022, Franco died in his sleep at his home in Sewickley, Pennsylvania at age 72.
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