Patrick Daniel Tillman Jr., popularly known as simply Pat Tillman, was born on November 6, 1976, in Fremont, California. He was an American football player who joined the Army following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. In 2004, he was stationed in Afghanistan after participating in many operations in Iraq. In April of 2004, it was reported that Afghan insurgents killed him in an attack. In May, The Pentagon notified Pat’s parents that he had been killed by friendly fire, prompting Pat’s family to accuse the Ministry of Defense of lying and delaying the truth’s release to protect their image.
Pat Tillman was born to Mary and Patrick Kevin Tillman and he was the oldest of three children. Tillman was a die-hard N.F.L. supporter and a regular football player He attended Leland High School where he was a member of the football team. He was a standout player who helped lead his team to victory in the “Central Coast Division I Football Championship.”
Tillman was offered a football scholarship by Arizona State University and he accepted it. He was an excellent student, but he always wished he could be a professional football player. Despite spending most of his time on the football field, he was twice awarded the prestigious Clyde B. Smith Academic Award. Tillman had a bright future ahead of him. Tillman was one of the most fearless linebackers in the ASU squad, and he proved his value regularly. In 1998, he was called up to the major leagues by The Arizona Cardinals who drafted him in the 226th round. He took over the “safety” position in his debut season and appeared in all but two of the team’s games. To say that he was honorable would be an understatement: The Arizona Cardinals were a minor league team in terms of money. The St. Louis Rams had given him a deal worth $9 million, but he turned it down. Tillman made it clear that he will only play for the Cardinals moving forward by announcing his intention to do so solely. Tillman’s success in the 1999 season exceeded all expectations. In addition to his 155 tackles, two fumble recoveries, two fumbles caused, one and a half sacks, and nine pass deflections, he finished the season with nine interceptions. Because of this, he was named to the N.F.L. All-Pro squad in 2000.
Although Tillman had a successful athletic career, he decided to enlist in the military because he wanted to contribute to his country in a more general way. Kevin, Tillman’s younger brother, and fellow football player, also enlisted with him. Due to the rarity of such a decision by a professional athlete at the pinnacle of a successful career, this tale drew considerable media attention.
Tillman gets called up to the major leagues and the Arizona Cardinals of the N.F.L. drafts him in the 226th round
Tillman surpasses all expectations in the 1999 season, finishing the year with 155 tackles, two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, 1.5 sacks, and nine pass deflections.
He turns down a substantial contract offer from the St. Louis Rams to remain with the Cardinals.
After the 2001 season, he and his younger brother, Kevin, decide to enroll in the U.S. Army.
Why We Love Pat Tillman
Pat Tillman joined the army
Tillman put his professional life on hold to serve his country when the U.S. invaded Afghanistan. This demonstrates Tillman's patriotism and love for his country.
He was named into the College Football Hall of Fame
For his service to his country, Tillman received a Purple Heart and a Silver Star medal and had his number retired by the A.S.U. Sun Devils and the Arizona Cardinals. In May 2010, he was selected for the honor.
He was against the Iraq war
According to a prominent media outlet in 2005, Tillman opposed the Iraq war. He had a good political sense and saw the invasion as illegal.
5 Surprising Facts
He was small but fierce
When Tillman was a freshman at a Division I school, he was thought too short to play linebacker, but he proved his critics wrong.
He played well for the Cardinals
Tillman, taken in the seventh round of the N.F.L. draft, played in all 48 games for the Cardinals in his first three seasons.
How he really died
At a memorial service held just 26 days after Tillman's death, the army recognized that he was killed by friendly fire while returning to help members of his battalion who had been separated from him.
He left his wife a note
According to Marie, her husband left her a note "just in case" he was murdered while fighting overseas.
Tillman was an atheist
Speaking during his burial, speakers said that Tillman was a well-educated and intellectual man who had also read a lot of religious writings.
Pat Tillman FAQs
What happened to Pat Tillman?
He died in Afghanistan on April 22, 2004.
Why is Tillman a hero?
He became a symbol of sports and the military, and he is rightly regarded as a hero by most Americans.
How was Tillman courageous?
He walked away from a lucrative career in order to risk his life in the fight to defend others.
Pat Tillman’s birthday dates