Born in Seoul, South Korea, on March 8, 1976, Hines Ward is the son of an African-American father and a Korean mother. Ward moved to the United States with his mom when he was just 1 year old. A standout athlete, he eventually starred at the University of Georgia. As a pro, he played his entire 14-year NFL career with the Pittsburgh Steelers, retiring after the 2011 season.
The son of a Korean mother and an African-American father, Hines Edward Ward Jr. was born on March 8, 1976, in Seoul, South Korea. Ward moved with his parents to Atlanta, Georgia, when he was just 1 year old. His parents soon divorced, and Ward was largely raised by his mother.
At an early age, Ward showed he was a gifted athlete. At Forest Park High School in Forest Park, Georgia, he was a tremendous outfielder and quarterback. While Ward was clearly passionate about football and baseball, he eventually chose to pursue the former, even passing up a $25,000 signing bonus from the Florida Marlins in order to play quarterback for his beloved University of Georgia.
As a Bulldog, Ward eventually started gaining more playing time as a receiver. His ability to adapt to the new position was cemented his senior year, when he earned All-SEC honors and finished as the team's second all-time receiver with 144 catches.
While concerns about Ward's health helped drive down the receiver's value among pro scouts, the Pittsburgh Steelers eventually selected him in the third round of the 1998 NFL Draft.
A gritty, tough receiver, who quickly developed a reputation for dishing out hits just as fierce as he received them, Ward quickly became a valuable component of the Steelers' offense.
His breakout year came in 2001, in which he set a team record for single season receptions (94) and was named to his first Pro Bowl. He also led the Steelers to the AFC Championship that year, where Tom Brady and the underdog New England Patriots defeated him and the team. He followed things up in 2002 with an even better season, catching 112 balls.
In 2006, Ward realized a lifelong dream when helped lead the Steelers to victory over the Seattle Seahawks at Super Bowl XL. Hines caught five passes for 123 yards in the championship contest and was named the game's MVP. In 2009, he helped the Steelers to an additional title at Super Bowl XLIII.
Ward, who battled injuries in his final years, retired from football following the 2011 season.
Known for his charismatic personality, Ward has been a natural in front of the camera. In 2011, that point was hammered home when Ward won ABC's popular dance-competition show, Dancing with the Stars. On the show, he competed against celebrities like Kirstie Alley, Sugar Ray Leonard and Wendy Williams.
Additionally, in March 2012, shortly after announcing his retirement, Ward worked the red carpet at the 2012 Oscar Awards for the NFL Network.
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