John Elway is known as former legendary American football quarterback and Super Bowl Champion. He won the championship for the Denver Broncos as a player. After he retired, he moved on to a position in Denver’s front office where he dealt with player personnel.


John Albert Elway Jr. was born on June 28, 1960 in Port Angeles. The small town is located in the state of Washington. He comes from a family of five people and he had a twin sister. He’s also got one older sister. The family grew up in the northwest where they got to enjoy beautiful scenery and the outdoors.

John spent most of his early years in Missoula, a town in the state of Montana and also in Pullman, Washington. The reason he would rotate between the two states is because his father at the time was the assistant coach of the sports teams of Montana and Washington. However, after his freshman year Pullman High School, the family relocated to Granada Hills.

College Football Career

Elway was known for his incredible passing capabilities and he was also an incredible runner and managed to escape pressured situations as a mobile quarterback. This is why he is referred to as a dual-threat quarterback. When he was playing, there weren’t that many quarterbacks that could move around the pocket like he could. He ushered in a new era where quarterbacks were expected to scramble and create results out of compromised plays.

In 1979, John got into Stanford University where he played both football and baseball. He was involved in a historic game between Stanford and California. The game later became known as the Big Game, involving a move known as “The Play”. In aggressive fashion, the California players pushed the ball forward five times. They scored a touchdown to secure victory of the game and Elway was definitely bitter about it. However, even though John didn’t manage to lead his team to a bowl game, he really did have impressive accomplishments during his college football career. He completed 774 passes for over 9,349 yards as well as 77 touchdowns while he was the starting quarterback for Stanford.

Professional Football Career

John Elway’s professional football career began in 1983 when he was selected as the first pick by the Baltimore Colts at that year’s NFL Draft. However, John and the Colts failed to come to an agreement which resulted in him joining the Denver Broncos. At the time, he was one of the most wanted athletes in the entire history of the NFL and the Broncos were very fortunate to secure his rights. His debut game was against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Later on in 1986, John led his team to the Super Bowl XXI. This finals berth became possible after defeating the Cleveland Browns but they were not able to win the final game. The team was able to reach the finals thanks to his incredible statistics.


He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2004. He’s won the Super Bowl championship and won the Super Bowl MVP at the XXXIII game. He’s won five AFC and nine Pro Bowl championships and has had other significant accomplishments during his pro career.

Personal Life

John Elway had his wedding back in 1984. However, he and his wife Janet Buchan got divorced in the year of 2003. Interestingly enough, they had been competing together on the swimming team of Stanford but that shared bond would not last through the years.

They have 4 children together and their names are Jessica, Jordan, Juliana and Jack. Elway has had his share of personal losses. His twin sister Jana passed away at the early age of 42 due to lung cancer. This happened just a year after their father, Jack passed away as well.

In an interview with Mile High Sports, John talked about a variety of topics from being a football front office executive to how his family life is currently going. When it was announced that his college, Stanford was going to retire his football number and jersey, the media flocked to get his response. He had the expected reaction to the news, “Obviously, I’m pretty thrilled. The older you get, when these things happen, the more special they become. It’s a great honor because they haven’t done a lot of that; there are only two other numbers retired – two great players (Ernie Nevers and Jim Plunkett). With the school being what it is, plus what the football program and what it’s become, plus the experience that I had there, it’s really an honor to say the least.”

Being part of the front office has been easier for John on the family front than it was when he was an active player. Now that his children are older, he doesn’t have to worry as much, “They’re all really good. Jessie is in Oakland. She got a promotion. She’s coaching. She was in the classroom for four years and now she’s teaching teachers for a charter school system in California. Jordan got married this summer. She’s a nurse for DPS. Jack is selling cars; he’s learning the car business out in Ontario. Juliana just graduated from Arizona and she’s in Scottsdale teaching preschool.”

Having daughters has been great for him and he’s been getting used to handing them off in marriage but it wasn’t always that way, “I’ll tell you what; when I walked Jordan down the aisle, it got me. It was really – I’d never had that feeling before. Where, all of a sudden, it was like these kids are really growing up. I mean, even though they get older, and even when she said she was engaged, it really didn’t get me – until I walked her down that aisle. That really got me. Really got me. This whole deal is changing; my kids are really grown up.”

John Elway is estimated to have a net worth of about $145 million that he has built from his football career.

Last Modified: Apr 7, 2020

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