Although he was legendary football player, Fran Tarkenton would not let his career end when he left professional football.
Tarkenton's football career began early. He was a star quarterback at Athens High School, and in 1955, he led the team to a state championship. While attending the University of Georgia, he led the Georgia Bulldogs to the Southeast Conference Championship and the Orange Bowl and earned All-American honors, leading the Southeast Conference in total offense and passing.
After college, Tarkenton moved on to the NFL where he was an instant success, becoming one of the most prolific passers in NFL history. Throughout his 18-year professional football career, he played as quarterback for both the Minnesota Vikings and the New York Giants. He led the Minnesota Vikings to three Super Bowls (1973, 1975, and 1976), but never captured a win. Tarkenton was voted Most Valuable Player in the NFL in 1975. After the 1978 season, Tarkenton retired. During his outstanding career, he threw for 342 touchdown passes and 47,003 yards, and held the record in completions at 3,686. He was inducted into Football's Hall of Fame on August 2, 1986.
Tarkenton's business career began while he was still setting records on the football field. During the off-season, he worked for Coca-Cola and BBD&O Advertising. In 1972, he founded his own management consulting firm, which grew from a small local business into a company with Fortune 500 clients all over the world.
Since his football days, Tarkenton has started twelve businesses. Tarkenton owned a multi-million dollar computer software company, which he sold in 1994, was CEO of Tarkenton Insurance Company, and was a partner in a new advertising/marketing firm, Tarkenton & Hughes. He is also a prominent motivational speaker and author of "What Losing Taught Me about Winning," and "How to Motivate People: The Team Strategy for Success." Tarkenton then decided to help small business owners obtain access to the tools and information needed to thrive in a new economy. In 1996, he realized that goal with the Fran Tarkenton Small Business NETwork. Once the company began primarily using the internet, the company was renamed GoSmallBiz.com.
Tarkenton was initiated into Frank Hardeman Chapter DeMolay in Athens, Georgia, in 1954. He received the Legion of Honor in 1973. Tarkenton was a member of the first class to be inducted into the DeMolay Hall of Fame on November 13, 1986.
"It is a great honor to be inducted into the DeMolay Hall of Fame. In today's society where there is so much violence and heartache, it's a gratifying feeling to know there is such a fine organization as DeMolay to look up to and lean on for guidance and support. I am proud to be a member!"