Sports
575 voters

Athletes With the Coolest Post-Sports Careers

Updated May 21, 2020 5.4k votes 575 voters 60.7k views47 items

List RulesOnly their post-sports jobs, nothing before or during their career

Athletes with the coolest post-sports careers are those former professional athletes who after their playing days ended, went on to do some pretty amazing things. From those who went into politics to others who built business empires and even others who chose wacky careers, all of these athletes found fun new paths off the field.

Nearly any former athlete can find work after their playing career ends as a broadcaster or coach of their respective sports but how many can go on to be President of the United States of America? One did it, former University of Michigan football player Gerald Ford. While few will live up to that precedent, other athletes have seen success in politics such as Arnold Schwarzenegger, who served as Governor of California, and Jesse Ventura, who was the Governor of Minnesota.

Show business is another common landing place for retired athletes with the likes of Carl Weathers, Vinnie Jones and Jim Brown all seeing success on the field and on the big and small screens. Becoming a business executive would be another with former atletes making a name for themselves as the face of product lines, like George Foreman and John Madden, or even going on to own the teams in the sports they once played, like Mario Lemieux, Nolan Ryan and Michael Jordan.

While not all of the best athletes of all time will go on to find success off the field, these special athletes with awesome post-sports careers prove that with the right determination, retired athletes can go on to long and successful careers in many other fields.
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  • 1
    Arnold Schwarzenegger

    BirthplaceThal, Austria

    NationalityUnited States of America, Austria

    Governor of California, Celebrity Apprentice host

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  • 2
    Roger Maris
    164
    38

    Roger Maris

    Dec. at 51 (1934-1985)

    BirthplaceHibbing, Minnesota, United States of America

    NationalityUnited States of America

    PositionRight fielder, Outfielder

    Beer distributiorship owner

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    #500 of 753 People We Wish Were Still Alive#17 of 149 The Greatest New York Yankees Of All Time

  • 3
    John Madden
    143
    53

    BirthplaceAustin, Minnesota, United States of America

    NationalityUnited States of America

    PositionOffensive Lineman

    NFL video game franchise frontman 

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  • 4
    Gerald Ford
    131
    58

    Gerald Ford

    Dec. at 93 (1913-2006)

    BirthplaceOmaha, Nebraska, United States of America

    NationalityUnited States of America

    PositionLinebacker, Center

    President of the United States of America

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  • 5
    Shaquille O'Neal
    113
    51

    BirthplaceNewark, New Jersey, United States of America

    NationalityUnited States of America

    PositionCenter

    Police officer

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  • 6
    George Foreman
    124
    60

    BirthplaceMarshall, Texas, United States of America

    NationalityUnited States of America

    Television infomercial small kitchen appliance frontman 
  • 7
    Michael Jordan
    111
    63

    BirthplaceNew York City, New York, United States of America

    NationalityUnited States of America

    PositionShooting guard, Small forward, Outfielder

    Charlotte Bobcats owner

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  • 8
    Michael Strahan
    74
    31

    BirthplaceHouston, Texas, United States of America

    NationalityUnited States of America

    PositionDefensive end

    Talk and game show host

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  • 9
    Magic Johnson
    104
    59

    BirthplaceLansing, Michigan, United States of America

    NationalityUnited States of America

    PositionPoint guard, Power forward

    Talkshow host and AIDS activist

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  • 10
    Dwayne Johnson
    57
    17

    BirthplaceHayward, California, United States of America

    NationalityCanada, United States of America

    PositionDefensive tackle

    A-List Actor and WWE Superstar, after college football career (Miami Hurricanes).

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  • 11
    Nolan Ryan
    75
    41

    Nolan Ryan

    Age: 72

    BirthplaceRefugio, Texas, United States of America

    NationalityUnited States of America

    PositionPitcher

    Texas Rangers owner

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  • 12
    Mario Lemieux
    68
    45

    BirthplaceMontreal, Canada

    NationalityCanada, United States of America

    PositionCenterman

    Pittsburgh Penguins owner

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  • 13
    Jim Brown
    57
    35

    Jim Brown

    Age: 83

    BirthplaceGeorgia, USA, St. Simons

    NationalityUnited States of America

    PositionRunning back, Fullback

    Actor

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  • 14
    Mike Tyson
    76
    57

    Mike Tyson

    Age: 53

    BirthplaceBedford-Stuyvesant, New York City, New York, United States of America

    NationalityUnited States of America

    Pigeon trainer

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  • 15
    Jesse Ventura
  • 16
    Warrick Dunn
    102
    126

    BirthplaceBaton Rouge, Louisiana

    NationalityUnited States of America

    TeamTampa Bay Buccaneers, Atlanta Falcons

    PositionRunning back

    Atlanta Falcons co-owner

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  • 17
    Dikembe Mutombo
    21
    24

    BirthplaceKinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo

    NationalityDemocratic Republic of the Congo, United States of America

    PositionCenter

    actavist

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  • 18
    Mike Golic
    10
    10

    Mike Golic

    Age: 57

    BirthplaceWillowick, Ohio, United States of America

    NationalityUnited States of America

    Radio personality ("Mike and Mike" on ESPN)

  • 19
    Bob Uecker
    11
    15

    Bob Uecker

    Age: 84

    BirthplaceMilwaukee, Wisconsin, United States of America

    NationalityUnited States of America

    PositionCatcher

    Actor ("Mr. Belvedere"), Play-by-Play Announcer (Milwaukee Brewers), and notably both in Major League.

    More 

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  • 20
    Curt Schilling
    93
    141

    BirthplaceAnchorage, Alaska, United States of America

    NationalityUnited States of America

    PositionStarting pitcher, Pitcher

    Video game mogul

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  • 21
    Jack Kemp
    18
    29

    Jack Kemp

    Dec. at 74 (1935-2009)

    BirthplaceLos Angeles, California, United States of America

    NationalityUnited States of America

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  • 22
    Alex Karras
    18
    28

    Alex Karras

    Dec. at 77 (1935-2012)

    BirthplaceGary, Indiana, United States of America

    NationalityUnited States of America

    PositionDefensive tackle

    Actor
  • 23
    Charles Barkley

    BirthplaceLeeds, Alabama, United States of America

    NationalityUnited States of America

    PositionSmall forward, Power forward

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  • 24
    Rick Fox
    1
    0

    Rick Fox

    Age: 50

    BirthplaceToronto, Canada

    NationalityCanada

    PositionSmall forward

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  • 25
    Bill Bradley
    21
    38

    BirthplaceCrystal City, Missouri, United States of America

    NationalityUnited States of America

    PositionShooting guard, Small forward

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    #58 of 107 Famous Politicians You'd Want to Have a Beer With#68 of 213 The Best White Players in NBA History