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Lynn Swann's life has always been about seizing opportunities. At the age of 2, he moved from Tennessee to California with his parents and two brothers. Six years later, his mother enrolled Lynn in dance class where he would develop incredible grace and balance that would serve him well in the future.
Lynn attended Serra High School where he set a school record for the long jump, played on the basketball team, and was named an All-America High School Football player. He was recruited by several colleges and universities but decided to attend the University of Southern California.
Lynn used his opportunity to play college football to also earn his degree in public relations from the university's school of journalism. At USC, he excelled on the field playing on two Rose Bowl teams and a National Championship team in 1972. In 1973, Lynn was voted team captain, Most Valuable Player and All-America.
Following his senior year in 1974, Lynn was selected as the number one draft pick of the Pittsburgh Steelers (21st overall). In his first season with the Steelers, Swann led the NFL in punt returns with 577 yards on 41 returns, which at that time was a club record and fourth best in NFL history. Although he saw limited action as a wide receiver, his game-winning touchdown catch in the AFC championship game against the Oakland Raiders set the stage for things to come.
His gazelle-like speed, fluid movements and tremendous leaping ability soon won him the wide receiver position for the 1975 season. In that season, he recorded 49 catches for 781 yards and scored a league-high 11 touchdowns. He finished the season in spectacular fashion by contributing four receptions, including a 64-yard game-winning touchdown catch, to the Steelers' Super Bowl X victory over the Dallas Cowboys. For his outstanding play, he was named the game's MVP.
Named All-Pro in 1975, 1977, and 1978, Swann was voted to the Pro Bowl after each of those seasons. One of the most talented players of his time, he was named to the NFL's All-Decade Team of the 1970s and to the Super Bowl Silver Anniversary Team. Lynn played all nine years of his professional career with the Steelers, and was a major force behind the team's four Super Bowl victories. Swann retired after the 1982 season with a record of 336 receptions for 5,462 yards and 51 touchdowns. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2001.
While still with the Steelers, Lynn launched his successful broadcasting career in 1976. Upon his retirement, Swann joined the broadcasters at ABC Sports full-time and continues to travel the world covering a variety of sporting events for ABC.
Lynn has served on the national Board of Directors for Big Brothers and Big Sisters of America since 1980 and served as their president from 1993-1995. He continues to represent the organization as their National Spokesperson. Lynn has also provided over 100 scholarships to children studying at the renowned Pittsburgh Ballet Theater School. He has received numerous honors for his work toward the continued growth and development of our nation's young people.
His community leadership and his commitment to today's youth led President George W. Bush to ask Lynn to serve as the Chairman of the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports in 2002. In this role, Lynn was responsible for helping to create and implement the President's fitness agenda for America. Lynn retired from the position in July of 2005.
Lynn has toured the country as a motivational speaker, promoting the need for responsibility, strong leadership and making the most of given opportunities. He also turned his success on the field into opportunities in the corporate world. Lynn currently sits on the board of directors of three companies.
Identifying with the values that defined Pittsburgh and Pennsylvania; hard work, determination, and the will to succeed, Lynn set out to make his community better. Hoping to offer the state a fresh and energetic leadership, Swann has indicated he may seek the Republican nomination for Governor of Pennsylvania in the 2006 election.
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