Born: May 15, 1975
Place of Birth: Bartow, FL
Zodiac Sign: Taurus
Raymond Anthony Lewis Jr. (born May 15, 1975) is a former American football linebacker who played all of his 17-year professional career for the Baltimore Ravens of the National Football League (NFL). He previously played college football for the University of Miami, and earned All-America honors. Lewis was drafted by the Ravens in the first round of the 1996 NFL Draft, and upon his retirement following the 2012 season, was the last remaining active player from the team's inaugural season.
Lewis played middle linebacker his entire career, and is considered to be one of the greatest ever to play the position. He was a 13-time Pro Bowler, a 10-time All-Pro, and one of the few players in NFL history to play in a Pro Bowl in three different decades (1990s, 2000s, and 2010s). He is also considered to be the greatest Baltimore Raven of all-time.
Lewis pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice in connection with the stabbing deaths of two men in 2000. The following season, he won the NFL Defensive Player of the Year and led the Ravens' record-setting defense to victory in Super Bowl XXXV. Lewis also became the second linebacker to win the Super Bowl Most Valuable Player Award, and the first to win the award on the winning Super Bowl team. Lewis won his second Defensive Player of the Year award in 2003, becoming the sixth player to win the award multiple times. After a triceps tear that sidelined him for most of the 2012–13 season, Lewis returned for the Ravens' playoff run and earned his second Super Bowl victory in his final NFL game. On February 3, 2018, the fifth anniversary of his final game, Lewis was selected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility.
Personal Life and Family
Lewis was born in Bartow, Florida. He is the older brother of former University of Maryland running back Keon Lattimore. Lewis was an All-American linebacker for the football team at Kathleen High School in Lakeland. In addition, he was a prolific wrestler for the school. His father was absent most of his life, which was a cycle through generations, but he was a record-setting high school wrestler before he was incarcerated for drug-related offenses. He revealed that his stepfather was extremely abusive towards his mother, and got a deck of 52 playing cards to start his push-up regimen, so he could get stronger to protect her. This also was the reason behind choosing the #52 jersey in his professional career.
Lewis is a Christian, and his commitment to his faith was featured in a Sports Illustrated cover story in 2006. He has a total of six children, four boys, and two girls. His son, Ray Lewis III, played college football at the University of Miami and later Coastal Carolina. He was dismissed from Coastal Carolina's football team and the university in 2016 upon being indicted by a South Carolina grand jury on a charge of third-degree criminal sexual assault. His other son, Rayshad Lewis, committed to Utah State out of high school. His freshman year was successful. After his freshman year, Rayshad decided to transfer to the University of Maryland.
Michael Phelps, a Baltimore native and Ravens fan, stated that he found his life purpose and desire to compete in the 2016 Summer Olympics after seeking Lewis's advice.
In 2015, Lewis' autobiography, I Feel Like Going On: Life, Game, and Glory, was published.