Steve Largent
NFL Seattle Seahwaks Steve Largent 260
Largent in 1980s game as a WR for the Seattle Seahawks]]
Personal Information
Wide Receiver
Jersey #(s)
Born: September 28 1954 (1954-09-28) (age 65) in Tulsa, Oklahoma
Birthplace: {{{birthplace}}}
Career information
Year(s) 19761989
NFL Draft 1976 / Round: 4 / Pick: 117 Houston Oilers
NFL Supplemental Draft / Pick:
High School Putnam City High School, Oklahoma City, OK
College Tulsa
Professional teams
Career stats
Receptions 819
Receiving Yards 13,089
Touchdowns 100
Stats at
Career highlights and awards

Steven Michael "Steve" Largent (born September 28, 1954) is a retired American football player, enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and a former U.S. Congressman, having served in the U.S. House of Representatives for Oklahoma from 1994 until 2002. He was defeated in his run for Governor of Oklahoma in 2002 in a three-way race in which he had been considered the frontrunner.

Football careerEdit

Largent was a star receiver at Putnam City High School in his hometown of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; his family moved to from Tulsa, where he was born, during his early childhood. Despite a stellar All-American career at the University of Tulsa playing for the Golden Hurricane football team, Largent was not selected until the fourth round of the 1976 NFL draft by the Houston Oilers (117th pick). After four preseason games, he was slated to be cut, but was instead traded to the expansion Seattle Seahawks for a 1977 eighth-round pick.

Largent spent thirteen years with the Seahawks, and, while not particularly fast, was extremely sure-handed. He was selected to the NFL Pro Bowl seven times, and was the first Seahawk to earn that honor. In 1982, Largent, along with teammate Jim Zorn, ended his participation in the NFL strike, after the third and final week of the strike, citing religious principles.

In 1989, Steve Largent became the first Seahawks player to win the Steve Largent Award for his spirit, dedication and integrity.[2]

When Largent retired, he held all major NFL receiving records, including: most receptions in a career (819), most receiving yards in a career (13,089), and most touchdown receptions (100), although 15 of the catches, 261 of the yards, and 3 of the touchdowns came against replacement players. He was also in possession of a then-record streak of 177 consecutive regular-season games with a reception.

Largent was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1995. In 1999, he was ranked number 46 on The Sporting News list of the 100 Greatest Football Players, the only Seahawk on the list.

His number (80) was retired in 1992; Largent is the first Seahawk player to be so honored (the team has retired number 12 in honor of the fans, the “twelfth man”, and the number 71 for Offensive Lineman Walter Jones, on December 5, 2010).[3] During Jerry Rice's stint with the Seahawks in 2004, Largent's number 80 was temporarily "unretired" after a conversation between Rice and Largent that was reportedly initiated by then Seahawks president Bob Whitsitt.[4] Largent remains the most prolific receiver in team history. On October 26, 2008 Largent's University of Tulsa number (83) was also retired.[5]

Political careerEdit

In 1994, Oklahoma's 1st District Congressman Jim Inhofe resigned to run in a special election to succeed Senator David Boren. Largent won the election to succeed Inhofe in Congress; pursuant to an Oklahoma statute, Governor David Walters appointed Largent to serve the remainder of Inhofe's term in the 103rd Congress before beginning his term in the 104th Congress.[6][7]

Largent took office on November 29, 1994 and was reelected to the three succeeding Congresses, never winning less than 60 percent of the vote in the heavily Republican Tulsa-based district.[8][9][10]

Like many in the Republican freshmen class elected in 1994, when the Republicans took control of the House for the first time in 40 years, Largent's voting record was solidly conservative. Largent was one of the "true believers" in that freshman class, devoting most of his time to issues important to conservative Christians.

One of his first bills was a "parental rights" bill that died in committee after it attracted opposition even from other Christian conservatives. Another of his bills would have abolished the federal tax code at the end of 2001. He opposed ending the 1995 federal government shutdown and played a role in the failed attempt to oust Newt Gingrich as Speaker. Largent introduced a bill that would ban adoptions by gay and lesbian parents in Washington, D.C.

He was criticized as anti-Catholic due to his line of questioning of a House of Representatives chaplain in 2000, though he denied this.[11]

After the Republicans lost 5 seats in the 1998 midterm elections, Largent tried to take advantage of discontent with Majority Leader Dick Armey by challenging Armey for the post. Although Armey was not popular in the Republican caucus, Largent was thought to be far too conservative for the liking of some moderate Republicans, and Armey won on the third ballot.[12] However, when Bob Livingston of Louisiana stood down as Speaker-elect, Armey was still too wounded to make a bid for the job.

Largent decided to run for Governor of Oklahoma in 2002. He easily won the Republican nomination and resigned his House seat on February 15 to devote his energy to the race. Initially seen as an overwhelming favorite against Democratic state senator Brad Henry, Largent lost to Henry by just under 7,000 votes.

Largent's loss has been attributed by analysts to factors that included:

  • The presence of a well-funded independent (Gary Richardson, a former Republican) on the general election ballot;[13]
  • Henry's support of cockfighting, garnering a last minute endorsement by rural cockfighting interests that turned out in large numbers in the election in which the legality of cockfighting was on the ballot;[13][14][15]
  • Largent used "a vulgarity" in response to an Oklahoma City television reporter who asked where he was at the time of the September 11, 2001 attacks. Largent had been on a hunting trip and did not know about the attacks until then.[14][16]

People magazine named Largent to its 1996 list of "Most Beautiful People".[17]

Largent became President & CEO of CTIA-The Wireless Association in 2003. CTIA is an international nonprofit membership organization founded in 1984, representing all sectors of wireless communications: cellular, personal communication services and enhanced specialized mobile radio.[18][19]


  2. Booth, Tim (2008, December 19). Holmgren given Largent Award by players. Retrieved December 22, 2008.
  4. Greg Bishop, "Hawks offered No. 80, Rice says", Seattle Times, October 29, 2004.
  5. Mike Brown, "TU honors standouts", Tulsa World, October 27, 2008.
  6. Biodata
  7. Jim Myers, "Largent Takes Oath of Office", Tulsa World, November 30, 1994.
  8. Current Election Results
  9. General Election Results 11/3/98
  10. General Election Results 11/7/00
  11. David van Biema, Catholic Bashing?, TIME, February 27, 2000.
  12. Guy Gugliotta and Juliet Eilperin. House Republicans Embrace Livingston, Armey, Watts. Washington Post, 1998-11-19.
  13. 13.0 13.1 David Averill, "Eyeing another campaign: Richardson had impact on 2002 governor's race", Tulsa World, March 22, 2009.
  14. 14.0 14.1 "Henry upsets Steve Largent in governor's race", AP at USA Today, November 5, 2002.
  15. John M. Broder, "The 2002 Elections: Governors; Bright Spots, Amid Dim Ones, for Democrats", New York Times, November 7, 2009.
  16. Chris Cilliza, "The Fix: Holtz for House: The Strange History of Sports Stars and Politics", Washington Post, August 4, 2009.
  17. "Steve Largent", People, May 6, 1996.
  18. Matt Richtel, "In the Hall as a Lobbyist After Time in the House", New York Times, March 22, 2004.
  19. President & CEO Steve Largent at CTIA website.

External linksEdit


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