Sports

Athletes With the Coolest Post-Sports Careers 

Susie Moss
Updated May 21, 2020 4.7k votes 573 voters 60.6k views 47 items

List Rules Only 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.
list ordered by
1
Arnold Schwarzenegger is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Athletes With the Coolest Post-Sports Careers
Age: 72

Birthplace: Thal, Austria

Nationality: Austria, United States of America

Governor of California, Celebrity Apprentice host

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2
John Madden is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Athletes With the Coolest Post-Sports Careers
Age: 83

Birthplace: Austin, Minnesota, United States of America

Nationality: United States of America

Position: Offensive Lineman

NFL video game franchise frontman 

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3
Gerald Ford is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Athletes With the Coolest Post-Sports Careers
Dec. at 93 (1913-2006)

Birthplace: Omaha, Nebraska, United States of America

Nationality: United States of America

Position: Linebacker, Center

President of the United States of America

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4
George Foreman is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Athletes With the Coolest Post-Sports Careers
Age: 70

Birthplace: Marshall, Texas, United States of America

Nationality: United States of America

Television infomercial small kitchen appliance frontman 

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5
Shaquille O'Neal is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Athletes With the Coolest Post-Sports Careers
Age: 47

Birthplace: Newark, New Jersey, USA

Nationality: United States of America

Position: Center

Police officer

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6
Michael Jordan is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Athletes With the Coolest Post-Sports Careers
Age: 56

Birthplace: New York City, New York

Nationality: United States of America

Position: Shooting guard, Small forward, Outfielder

Charlotte Bobcats owner

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7
Magic Johnson is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Athletes With the Coolest Post-Sports Careers
Age: 60

Birthplace: Lansing, Michigan, United States of America

Nationality: United States of America

Position: Point guard, Power forward

Talkshow host and AIDS activist

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8
Nolan Ryan is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Athletes With the Coolest Post-Sports Careers
Age: 72

Birthplace: Refugio, Texas, United States of America

Nationality: United States of America

Position: Pitcher

Texas Rangers owner

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9
Michael Strahan is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Athletes With the Coolest Post-Sports Careers
woogyjones50 added Age: 48

Birthplace: Houston, Texas, USA

Nationality: United States of America

Position: Defensive end

Talk and game show host

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10
Mario Lemieux is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Athletes With the Coolest Post-Sports Careers
Age: 54

Birthplace: Montreal, Canada

Nationality: Canada, United States of America

Position: Centerman

Pittsburgh Penguins owner

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11
Dwayne Johnson is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Athletes With the Coolest Post-Sports Careers
derekjlariviere added Age: 47

Birthplace: Hayward, California, United States of America

Nationality: United States of America

Position: Defensive tackle

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

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12
Jesse Ventura is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Athletes With the Coolest Post-Sports Careers
13
Mike Tyson is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Athletes With the Coolest Post-Sports Careers
Age: 53

Birthplace: New York City, USA, New York, Bedford-Stuyvesant

Nationality: United States of America

Pigeon trainer

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14
Roger Maris is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Athletes With the Coolest Post-Sports Careers
Dec. at 51 (1934-1985)

Birthplace: Hibbing, Minnesota, United States of America

Nationality: United States of America

Position: Right fielder, Outfielder

Beer distributiorship owner

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15
Jim Brown is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Athletes With the Coolest Post-Sports Careers
Age: 83

Birthplace: St. Simons, Georgia, United States of America

Nationality: United States of America

Position: Running back, Fullback

Actor

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16
Carl Weathers is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Athletes With the Coolest Post-Sports Careers
Age: 71

Birthplace: New Orleans, Louisiana, United States of America

Nationality: United States of America

Position: Linebacker

Actor

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17
Bob Gibson is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Athletes With the Coolest Post-Sports Careers
Age: 84

Birthplace: Omaha, Nebraska, United States of America

Nationality: United States of America

Position: Pitcher

Harlem Globetrotter

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18
Alan Page is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Athletes With the Coolest Post-Sports Careers
halazlaw added Age: 74

Birthplace: Canton, Ohio, USA

Nationality: United States of America

Team: Minnesota Vikings, Chicago Bears

Position: Defensive tackle, Defensive end

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19
Manute Bol is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Athletes With the Coolest Post-Sports Careers
Dec. at 48 (1962-2010)

Birthplace: Turalei, Sudan

Nationality: Sudan

Position: Center

Philanthropist and Sudan activist

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20
Vinnie Jones is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Athletes With the Coolest Post-Sports Careers
Age: 54

Birthplace: Watford, United Kingdom

Nationality: United Kingdom

Position: Midfielder

Actor

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21
Bill Bradley is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Athletes With the Coolest Post-Sports Careers
slaft added Age: 76

Birthplace: Crystal City, Missouri, USA

Nationality: United States of America

Position: Shooting guard, Small forward

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22
Alex Karras is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Athletes With the Coolest Post-Sports Careers
RobLein added Dec. at 77 (1935-2012)

Birthplace: Gary, Indiana, United States of America

Nationality: United States of America

Position: Defensive tackle

Actor

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23
Charles Barkley is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Athletes With the Coolest Post-Sports Careers
idontknowman added Age: 56

Birthplace: Leeds, Alabama, United States of America

Nationality: United States of America

Position: Small forward, Power forward

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24
Jack Kemp is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Athletes With the Coolest Post-Sports Careers
slaft added Dec. at 74 (1935-2009)

Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States of America

Nationality: United States of America

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25
Oscar de la Hoya is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Athletes With the Coolest Post-Sports Careers
Age: 46

Birthplace: East Los Angeles, California, United States of America

Nationality: United States of America

Boxing promoter

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