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Harry Carson

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Information about Harry Carson

Profile image of Harry Carson

Profession

Category:
SportsMakers
Occupation(s):
Football Player

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Fried Chicken, Potato Salad
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Hawaii, Antigua
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
11/26/1953
Birth Location:
Florence, South Carolina

Profession

Category:
SportsMakers
Occupation(s):
Football Player

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Fried Chicken, Potato Salad
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Hawaii, Antigua
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
11/26/1953
Birth Location:
Florence
See how Harry Carson is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Football player Harry Carson was born on November 26, 1953 in Florence, South Carolina to Gladys Carson and Edgar Carson, Sr. He began playing football as a defensive end during his sophomore year at Wilson High School in Florence, where he also joined the Air Force Junior ROTC. In 1969, Carson transferred to the integrated McClenaghan High School, where he became a starting defensive end. Carson attended South Carolina State University in Orangeburg, South Carolina, where he was a four-year starter as a defensive lineman under Coach Willie Jeffries. Carson played a role in setting a college football record for the fewest points allowed in 1974. He graduated with his B.S. degree in education in 1976.

Carson was drafted by the New York Giants in the fourth round of the 1976 NFL draft. Under the tutelage of defensive coordinator Marty Schottenheimer, Carson was trained to play middle linebacker. He was named to the NFL’s All-Rookie Team in 1976, and selected to play in the Pro Bowl in 1978, the first of nine in his career. Under Bill Parcells, who became head coach in 1983, the Giants improved, making the playoffs in 1984 and 1985. During the 1986 season, the Giants led the league with a 14-2 record, and Carson served as team captain for the team during the Super Bowl XXI victory in 1987 against the Denver Broncos. Carson led the team in tackles for five years, and served as captain for ten years. He retired from professional football in 1988.

Carson was diagnosed with post-concussion syndrome in 1990, due to the head trauma sustained during his NFL career. He became a leading voice in speaking out for the rights and proper care of retired NFL players who suffer from diseases such as chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). He released his autobiography, Captain for Life in 2011, and appeared in the documentary League of Denial: The NFL's Concussion Crisis in 2013. He was also active in healthcare organizations like Meridian Neuroscience Health System Inc., the Congress of Neurological Surgeons, and the Aplastic Anemia Foundation. Carson was inducted to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2006.

Harry Carson was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on September 1, 2016.

See how Harry Carson is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Harry Carson's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Harry Carson lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Harry Carson describes his mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Harry Carson describes his mother's career
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Harry Carson lists his siblings
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Harry Carson describes his relationship with his mother
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Harry Carson describes his father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Harry Carson recalls the impact of his mother's move to Newark, New Jersey
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Harry Carson remembers the lack of opportunity for African Americans in South Carolina
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Harry Carson remembers his parents' marriage
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Harry Carson describes his relationship with his father
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Harry Carson describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Harry Carson remembers Holmes Elementary School in Florence, South Carolina
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Harry Carson describes Wilson Junior High School in Florence, South Carolina
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Harry Carson describes his activities at Wilson High School in Florence, South Carolina
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Harry Carson recalls playing football at the Florence Boys Club of America
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Harry Carson recalls joining the football team at Wilson High School
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Harry Carson recalls his admiration of professional football players
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Harry Carson remembers playing football at Wilson High School
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Harry Carson recalls transferring to McClenaghan High School in Florence, South Carolina
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Harry Carson remembers racial discrimination in Florence, South Carolina
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Harry Carson describes his experiences at McClenaghan High School
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Harry Carson recalls the integrated football team at McClenaghan High School
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Harry Carson recalls leading a boycott of football practice at McClenaghan High School
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Harry Carson remembers his high school girlfriend
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Harry Carson recalls quitting the football team at McClenaghan High School
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Harry Carson recalls his decision to attend South Carolina State College in Orangeburg, South Carolina
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Harry Carson recalls playing for Coach Willie Jeffries
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Harry Carson recalls his football teammates at South Carolina State College
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Harry Carson describes the defensive prowess of his college team
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Harry Carson describes his academic accomplishments at South Carolina State College
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Harry Carson recalls being scouted by the National Football League
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Harry Carson recalls being drafted by the New York Giants
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Harry Carson describes his transition to middle linebacker
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Harry Carson recalls his first National Football League training camp
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Harry Carson recalls his rookie season with the New York Giants
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Harry Carson describes the traits of a successful football player
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Harry Carson talks about his rookie contract with the New York Giants
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Harry Carson describes the birth of his daughter, Aja Carson-Gurley
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Harry Carson remembers becoming a Pro Bowl linebacker
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Harry Carson remembers his influences as a middle linebacker
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Harry Carson recalls playing against the Pittsburgh Steelers
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Harry Carson talks about amphetamine use in the National Football League
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Harry Carson remembers middle linebacker Willie Lanier
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Harry Carson recalls his knee injury
  • Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Harry Carson recalls his clinical depression
  • Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Harry Carson remembers his New York Giants teammate Lawrence Taylor
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Harry Carson remembers the 1982 National Football League season
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Harry Carson remembers John Riggins of the Washington Redskins
  • Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Harry Carson recalls the death of his former teammate, Doug Kotar
  • Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Harry Carson describes the severe injuries in the National Football League
  • Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Harry Carson recalls playing for Coach Bill Parcells on the New York Giants
  • Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Harry Carson remembers suffering from post-concussion syndrome
  • Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Harry Carson describes his offseason job at Grumman Aerospace Corporation
  • Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Harry Carson recalls a play against the San Francisco 49ers
  • Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Harry Carson remembers creating the Gatorade shower tradition
  • Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Harry Carson recalls the New York Giants' dinners at Beefsteak Charlie's
  • Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Harry Carson remembers qualifying for Super Bowl XXI
  • Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Harry Carson recalls winning Super Bowl XXI with the New York Giants
  • Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Harry Carson remembers the season after his Super Bowl championship
  • Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Harry Carson remembers being involved in a drug testing controversy
  • Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Harry Carson reflects upon his relationship with Coach Bill Parcells
  • Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Harry Carson recalls becoming a football commentator
  • Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Harry Carson reflects upon his relationship with the New York Giants
  • Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Harry Carson remembers his rejection from the Pro Football Hall of Fame
  • Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Harry Carson recalls learning about chronic traumatic encephalopathy
  • Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Harry Carson talks about former football players with brain trauma
  • Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Harry Carson describes the National Football League's response to traumatic brain injuries
  • Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Harry Carson talks about raising awareness of traumatic brain injuries in football
  • Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Harry Carson reflects upon the future of the National Football League
  • Tape: 10 Story: 1 - Harry Carson reflects upon his election to the Pro Football Hall of Fame
  • Tape: 10 Story: 2 - Harry Carson describes his hopes for the African American community
  • Tape: 10 Story: 3 - Harry Carson talks about his family
  • Tape: 10 Story: 4 - Harry Carson describes his work with the Fritz Pollard Alliance
  • Tape: 10 Story: 5 - Harry Carson reflects upon his legacy and how he would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 10 Story: 6 - Harry Carson narrates his photographs, pt. 1
  • Tape: 10 Story: 7 - Harry Carson narrates his photographs, pt. 2