Rosey Grier

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Grier in February 2008

Roosevelt "Rosey" Grier (born July 14, 1932) is an American actor, singer, Protestant minister, conservative politician and former professional American football player.

Early life[change | change source]

Grier was born in Cuthbert, Georgia. He was named after President Franklin D. Roosevelt.[1] Grier was raised in Roselle, New Jersey. He studied at Pennsylvania State University.[2]

Football years[change | change source]

Grier in 1967

Grier was a notable college football player for Pennsylvania State University who earned a place in the National Collegiate Athletic Association 100th anniversary list of 100 most influential student athletes. As a professional player, Grier was a member of the New York Giants and the original Fearsome Foursome of the Los Angeles Rams. He played in the Pro Bowl twice.

Bodyguard for Robert F. Kennedy[change | change source]

After Grier's professional sports career, he worked as a bodyguard for Robert Kennedy during the 1968 presidential campaign and was guarding the senator's wife, Ethel Kennedy, during the Robert F. Kennedy assassination.[3] Although unable to prevent that killing, Grier took control of the gun and subdued the shooter, Sirhan Sirhan.[4]

Entertainment career[change | change source]

Grier with Don Rickles in 1968

Grier appeared in movies and television shows such as Desperate Mission (1969), Carter's Army (1970), Skyjacked (1972), The Thing with Two Heads (1972), The Treasure of Jamaica Reef (1975), The Glove (1979), Roots: The Next Generations (1979) and The Seekers (1979).

As a singer, Grier first released singles on the A label in 1960, and over the following twenty-five years he continued to record on various labels including Liberty, Ric, MGM, and A&M.[5]

Politics[change | change source]

Grier was also a featured speaker at the 1984 Republican National Convention; during its evening session on August 20, 1984, he endorsed President Ronald Reagan for re-election.[6]

2018 California gubernatorial campaign[change | change source]

On January 5, 2017, Grier announced his intention to run for Governor of California as a Republican in the 2018 gubernatorial election.[7] He ended his candidacy in July 2017.[8]

Personal life[change | change source]

Grier was married to Bernice Lewis until they divorced. Then he married Margie Grier in 1972. They divorced in 1978, but remarried in 1980. Margie Grier died in 2001. In 2013, he married teacher Cydnee Seyler. Grier has three children (one daughter from an early relationship, one adopted daughter from Bernice and one son with Margie).

Grier released his autobiography 'Rosey: The Gentle Giant' in 1986.[9]

References[change | change source]

  1. McClellan, April D. (1994-01-02). "Tackling trouble in the inner city Former NFL lineman Rosey Grier shifts his social work to Kansas City". The Kansas City Star. p. I1. |access-date= requires |url= (help)
  2. Hughes, Will. Rosey never forgot his roots, often returning to his home town to run track with a local track hero named Bruce "Red Beard". "Gentle Giant", New Jersey Monthly, December 19, 2007. Accessed July 31, 2008.
  3. Gifford, Frank; Richmond, Peter (2008). The Glory Game: How the 1958 NFL Championship Changed Football Forever. New York: Harper Collins. p. 255. ISBN 978-0-06-171659-1.
  4. Pilkington, Ed (January 13, 2007). "The night Bobby died". The Guardian. Retrieved January 7, 2007.
  5. Roosevelt Grier biography at All Music Guide
  6. "Evening Session, Day 1 1984 Republican National Convention". CSPAN. Retrieved 7 January 2016.
  7. "Local football legend declares run for governor". smdp.com. Retrieved 2017-01-06.
  8. Wilton, Phil (July 31, 2017). "Former football star Rosey Grier takes a pass on the California governor's race". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved August 21, 2017.
  9. Grier, Rosey; Debbie Baker (1986). Rosey an Autobiography: The Gentle Giant. Honor Books. ISBN 0-89274-406-5.

Other websites[change | change source]