American football quarterback Drew Brees was born in Austin, Texas, on January 15, 1979. After excelling as a quarterback at Westlake High School, he enrolled at Purdue University and led the Boilermakers to a Big Ten Championship and a Rose Bowl appearance. Drafted by the San Diego Chargers in 2001, Brees signed with the New Orleans Saints in 2006 and steered them to victory in Super Bowl XLIV.
Born on January 15, 1979, in Austin, Texas, Andrew Christopher Brees, better known as Drew Brees, hails from football stock. His maternal grandfather, Ray Akins, is one of the all-time great coaches in Texas high school football history, while his uncle, Marty Akins, was an All-Southwest Conference quarterback in 1975.
At Westlake High School in Austin, Brees lettered in both basketball and baseball, but he truly excelled on the football field. During his senior season, in the fall of 1996, he led the club to a perfect regular-season record and a state championship.
The following year, Brees enrolled at Purdue University, where he continued to shine as a quarterback. During the course of his four-year career, Brees, a two-time Heisman finalist, steered the Boilermakers to a Big Ten Championship as well as a trip to the Rose Bowl.
Despite his stellar college resume, Brees's height (listed at 6 feet) and the perception, at least, that he had mediocre arm strength greatly contributed to him slipping out of the first round of the 2001 NFL draft. Instead, Brees landed with the San Diego Chargers as the first pick of the second round.
As a Charger, Brees proved himself to be one of the game's better quarterbacks. After stepping in as the team's full-time starter in the 2002 season, Brees led a young San Diego team to the playoffs in 2004.
Following the 2005 season, Brees left the Chargers as an unrestricted free agent and signed with the New Orleans Saints, inking a six-year, $60 million deal. For a city and a fan base still reeling from the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina, Brees was lauded for his decision.
Brees hasn't disappointed New Orleans fans. Since 2006, he's been one of the game's elite quarterbacks and a lock for Pro Bowl consideration on an annual basis. He set an NFL record with 5,476 passing yards in 2011 (since broken), also topping the league that year with a career-best 46 touchdowns. And despite his reputation as a "gunslinger," he completes an unusually high percentage of his pass attempts.
More important, he's made the Saints a winning team. In 2009 he led the franchise to victory in Super Bowl XLIV, earning the game's MVP honors along the way.
Brees has also made valuable contributions to the New Orleans community and elsewhere. Shortly after arriving in the city, he and his wife, Brittany, founded The Brees Dream Foundation, whose aim is to fight cancer and help children in need. Since its establishment, the nonprofit foundation has raised more than $20 million for its work.
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