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Home | SportsMakers | John B. Wooten
Color: None
Food: Chicken wings
Quote: I'm blessed.
Season: Football season
Vacation Destination: None
Riverview, Texas United States
Interview Description:

Biography |

Interview Date: 09/13/2017

Football player John B. Wooten was born on December 5, 1936 in Riverview, Texas to Elmo Wooten and Henrietta Young. As a child, Wooten moved with his mother and siblings to Carlsbad, New Mexico. After receiving much of his education from the Carver School, a segregated school in Carlsbad, Wooten transferred to the newly-integrated Carlsbad High School. He was the first in his family to attend college and earned his B.S. degree in education from the University of Colorado, Boulder in 1959. While at the University of Colorado, Wooten became the second African American varsity football player in the university’s history.

After graduating college, Wooten was drafted into the National Football League as a defensive lineman by the Cleveland Browns. He played a total of 136 games for the Browns, working closely with teammates Gene Hickerson and Jim Brown to ensure the team’s 1964 NFL Championship victory against the Baltimore Colts. After nine seasons with the Cleveland Browns, Wooten played a single season with the Washington Redskins before retiring from professional football. In 1975, he became the Director of Professional Scouting for the Dallas Cowboys, where he worked to make higher level coaching and staffing opportunities more equitable and accessible to African Americans. Wooten then joined the Philadelphia Eagles in 1992 as Vice President of Player Personnel. He departed from the Eagles and was hired by the Baltimore Ravens in 1998 as the team’s Assistant Director of Pro and College Scouting. Wotton was soon appointed as Chairman of the Fritz Pollard Alliance in 2003, where he worked to prevent racial discrimination in the NFL’s coach and personnel hiring processes. He also used his position as Chairman of the Alliance to encourage harsher penalties and stricter guidelines against the use of offensive language on the field. As of 2017, Wooten was the President of Wooten Printing in Coppell, Texas, which offers a range of printing, graphic design, stock product, and finishing services.

Wooten has been awarded and honored numerous times for his successful football career. He was named as the NFL’s Most Valuable Player in 1965 and, in 1979, was named as part of the Cleveland Browns All-Time All-Star Team. Wooten was also selected as a member of the University of Colorado’s All-Century Team. In 2010, he was inducted into the Cleveland Browns Ring of Honor, as well as the Browns’ Legends Program. Wooten was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2012.

Wooten and his wife, Juanita, live in Arlington, Texas.

John Wooten was interviewed by TheHistoryMakers on September 13, 2017

Speaker Bureau Notes: