Former NFL player-turned-business owner David Duerson was born in Muncie, Indiana, on November 28, 1960. After graduating from Northside High School in Muncie, Duerson began his promising football career at the University of Notre Dame. Duerson spent the summers from 1979 to 1981 working as a law clerk in Miami, Florida, and during the summer of 1982, he served as legislative aide to U.S. Senator Richard Lugar. Duerson graduated from Notre Dame with a B.S. degree in economics in 1983.
Following graduation, Duerson joined the Chicago Bears, where he played from 1983 to 1989, earning his first Super Bowl ring in Super Bowl XX. In 1990, he joined the New York Giants, and that year the Giants won Super Bowl XXV. He then went on to play for the Phoenix Cardinals from 1991 to 1993. After leaving the NFL, Duerson decided to go into business through franchise ownership. He attended McDonald's Corporation's Hamburger University and in 1994 bought three McDonald's restaurants in the suburbs of Louisville, Kentucky. Selling his franchises in 1995, Duerson became president and CEO of Fair Oaks Farms, one of the primary suppliers of sausage to McDonald's and a number of other companies with an international distribution arm to Japan, Singapore, Turkey and Kuwait. Under his leadership, sales grew from $38 million in 1998 to $63.4 million in 2001. That same year, he earned an executive M.B.A. from Harvard University's Owners and Presidents Management Program.
In 2002, Duerson started Duerson Foods, providing pork and turkey sausage products to corporations such as Burger King, White Castle and SYSCO.
Duerson has earned a number of honors over the years, including being named two-time All-American at Notre Dame and the 1987 NFL Man of the Year. He serves on the University of Notre Dame Board of Trustees and as chairman of the National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame, Chicago Chapter. He is also active with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, serving as a national trustee. Duerson and his wife, Alicia, have four children.
Duerson passed away on February 17, 2011.
Duerson was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 28, 2003.
Longfellow Elementary School
Oliver W. Storer Junior High School
Northside High School
University of Notre Dame
Northside Middle School
Storer Elementary School
South Florida, Hawaii
Never Be Satisfied.
Catfish, Raw Oysters
Football player and corporate chief executive David R. Duerson (1960 - 2011 ) is a former NFL player who is now CEO and owner of Duerson foods, sausage maker to Burger King and others.
New York Giants
Fair Oaks Farms, LLC
Duerson Foods, LLC
Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of David Duerson interview
Tape: 1 Story: 2 - David Duerson's favorites
Tape: 1 Story: 3 - David Duerson describes his mother's background
Tape: 1 Story: 4 - David Duerson discusses his father's family background
Tape: 1 Story: 5 - David Duerson relates his family's history after the U.S. Civil War
Tape: 1 Story: 6 - David Duerson describes his father's career successes
Tape: 1 Story: 7 - David Duerson remembers his hometown of Muncie, Indiana
Tape: 2 Story: 1 - David Duerson discusses his mother's life
Tape: 2 Story: 2 - David Duerson recalls the Duerson family's interstate travels
Tape: 2 Story: 3 - David Duerson discusses recreation in Muncie, Indiana
Tape: 2 Story: 4 - David Duerson describes his childhood shenanigans
Tape: 2 Story: 5 - David Duerson recalls his early sports achievements
Tape: 2 Story: 6 - David Duerson details his early educational experience
Tape: 2 Story: 7 - David Duerson remembers influential teachers
Tape: 3 Story: 1 - David Duerson remembers his high school years
Tape: 3 Story: 2 - David Duerson describes his national and international travel during high school
Tape: 3 Story: 3 - David Duerson details his high school athletic accomplishments
Tape: 3 Story: 4 - David Duerson remembers his college years at the University of Notre Dame
Tape: 3 Story: 5 - David Duerson discusses his continued involvement with the University of Notre Dame
Tape: 3 Story: 6 - David Duerson recalls Notre Dame teammates and their athletic exploits
Tape: 3 Story: 7 - David Duerson explains why he chose football over baseball
Tape: 4 Story: 1 - David Duerson discusses some unexpected setbacks in his professional football career
Tape: 4 Story: 2 - David Duerson remembers 'Papa Bear' George Halas and Bears teammates
Tape: 4 Story: 3 - David Duerson recalls his clashes with Bears defensive coordinator, Buddy Ryan
Tape: 4 Story: 4 - David Duerson details how he learned to handle Buddy Ryan's racism
Tape: 4 Story: 5 - David Duerson reveals the inner workings of the Chicago Bears coaching staff
Tape: 4 Story: 6 - David Duerson describes his teammate, Bears quarterback Jim McMahon
Tape: 4 Story: 7 - David Duerson describes Buddy Ryan's coaching skills
Tape: 5 Story: 1 - David Duerson remembers the end of his career with the Chicago Bears
Tape: 5 Story: 2 - David Duerson discusses his career after the Chicago Bears