Icon: Warrick Dunn
Founder, Warrick Dunn Family Foundation; part-owner, Atlanta Falcons; former NFL running back, Tampa; age 36
[Photo: Don Chambers]
» My foundation helps single parents get homes. Each house is therapy for me. The program is in honor of my mom. Homeownership was her dream, and she didn't have that opportunity, so I'm living her dream through other single parents.
» Some of the guys I hung out with when I was younger, they're dead, from just living the fast life. I knew people on drugs. I knew people who sold drugs. Everybody is trying to figure out ways to make it and put food on the table, but that's not the type of life that I wanted to live. You can't be like that when your mother is a police officer.
» I started playing football when I was probably 7 years old, and I was so small that no one wanted to pick me. But when I played, no one could tackle me. I had a knack for making people miss.
» My mom was killed after I had already played my senior year of high school football. We were getting ready to go out on recruiting trips. That semester of school was rough. I can remember at times I was sitting in class and crying.
» You can't hide from depression. You keep everything inside, it's only going to ruin you. I've had to learn that the hard way. It made me hard, made my heart hard.
» When I was playing for the Atlanta Falcons, I spoke to the owner, Arthur Blank, about being upstairs. A lot of times, people think we just want to make money, but I'm thinking bigger. I dropped a little bug in his ear, but I didn't ask. You have to be invited into the ownership group, and he invited me. Now, I'm learning more about the business side of the game, the marketing aspects, the salary cap, putting a team together. Mr. Blank helped start the Home Depot and made it into a global brand. I can learn a lot.
» I'm the oldest of six. A lot of responsibility fell on me.
» My mom talked to me a lot about life, about grownup things. I kid you not, we'd talk about so many different things that I'd think, 'Wow, why are you talking about this to me?' The things she talked about started to make sense after her passing. It all just came together, the way that she handled things. It was like she was preparing me for that day.
» My first thought was not to go to FSU and play football. I needed to stay home and take care of my brothers and sisters. I was going to try to get a job, but my grandmother said go and she'd make sure everything was OK.
» At Florida State, I was trying to be a parent from afar. My deal with Coach Bowden was if I needed to go home, I could go home. He gave me that leeway, so instead of being a typical college kid, my spring breaks and free weekends were spent looking over my family.
» Because of counseling, really, which helped me a lot, I got to a point to where I was ready to sit down and talk to the guy who shot and killed my mom. I had to let this individual know how he altered my life. I felt stuck, not being able to have my own family, prolonging getting married and having kids. I needed closure so I could move forward.
» I went to the prison and sat across the table from this individual. It was crazy. There were no bars. We didn't have anything separating us. Honestly, I didn't feel the need to jump across the table. That wasn't my desire at all. I was able to share a lot of things that I thought I needed to share. I told him how it affected my family, how it affected my life, put my life on hold. It felt good to get it off my chest. He said he didn't do it, but I was expecting him to say that. He told me, you know, that I should move on, that it's time for me to start living my life, to not let it hold me back.
» I played the game of football, enjoyed it, loved it. Could I have been a better football player? Yes. I think I could have been. I think a little bit of my joy of playing was taken away.
» So far, we've helped more than 100 single parents become homeowners.
» There are people who knew me before and they see me now and they tell me I'm different. I laugh. I smile. I hang out a lot more. I travel. I like to go bowling, golfing. I'm really just starting to live.
In case you missed it:
- Theresa Manuel is a ‘Florida Icon'
- Dan ‘Tater' Porter is a Florida Icon
- Joe Redner is a ‘Florida Icon'
- Nicole Johnson is a 'Florida Icon'
- Ron Magill is a ‘Florida Icon'
- Artis Gilmore is a ‘Florida Icon'
- An Interview with George Billiris
- Frank Morsani is a ‘Florida Icon'
- Alto ‘Bud' Adams Jr. is a ‘Florida Icon'
- Winston Scott is a 'Florida Icon'
- Florida Icon: Carlton Ward Jr.
- Florida Icon: Mel Tillis
- Robert M. 'Bob' Beall II is a Florida ‘Icon'
- Peter Meinke - A life in poetry
- Carl Hiaasen is a Florida ‘Icon'
- Nan-Yao Su is a Florida 'Icon'
- Roland Martin is a Florida ‘Icon'
- Florida Icon: Derrick Brooks
- An interview with Annika Sorenstam
- Iconic Florida developer H. Irwin Levy
- ‘Alligator' Ron Bergeron is a Florida Icon
- Howard Schnellenberger is a Florida 'Icon'
- Florida Icon: Barbara Mainster
- Florida Icon: Walter Lanier ‘Red' Barber
- Louise Gopher is a 'Florida Icon'
- H. Lee Moffitt is a 'Florida Icon'
- Kiran Patel is a 'Florida Icon'
- 'Florida Icon' Howard C. Tibbals shares life lessons
- Alex D. Brickler is a 'Florida Icon'
- Life lessons from hockey great Phil Esposito
- Lucy Morgan is a 'Florida Icon'
- Donald Goodman is a 'Florida Icon'
- Ed Droste is a 'Florida Icon'
- Ray Ferrero Jr. - Florida Icon
- W. George Allen is a 'Florida Icon'
- Tom James is a 'Florida Icon'
- Patrick Smith is a 'Florida Icon'
- Jerry Uelsmann is a 'Florida Icon'
- John L. Parker is a 'Florida Icon'
- C.C. 'Doc' Dockery is a 'Florida Icon'
- Toni Jennings is a 'Florida Icon'
- Dave Barry is a 'Florida Icon'
- Shaquille O'Neal is a 'Florida Icon'
- Ruth Alexander is a Florida Icon
- Brian Johnson is a Florida Icon
- Florida Icon: Sam Gibbons
- Thomas 'Blue' Fulford
- Icon: Don 'Big Daddy' Garlits
- Icon: Charles E. 'Chuck' Cobb Jr.
- Icon: John DeGrove
- Icon: Charles Gray
- Icon: Harry Crews
- Icon: Burt Reynolds
- Icon: Tibor Hollo
- Icon: Gary Mormino
- Icon: Richard Gonzmart
- Icon: Bob Graham
- Icon: Ward Hall
- Icon: Eugenie Clark
- Icon: Arthur Rutenberg
- Icon: Chris Evert
- Icon: Preston Haskell
- Icon: Joseph Kittinger
- Icon: The Fanjul Brothers
- Icon: Romero Britto
- Icon: Steve Raymund
- Icon: Cesar L. Alvarez
- Icon: Juan 'Chi Chi' Rodriguez
- Icon: Gay Culverhouse
- Icon: Gene Leedy
- Icon: William R. Hough
- Icon: Peter Prichard
- Icon: Ed Price
- Icon: David L. Paul
- Icon: Jan Garavaglia
- Icon: Claude R. Kirk Jr.
- Icon: Don Zimmer
- Icon: Kenneth H. 'Buddy' MacKay
- Icon: Dick Vitale
- Icon: Michael Gannon
- Icon: Marcella Hazan
- Icon: Tony Little
- Icon: Wade L. Hopping
- Icon: Edgar Mitchell
- Icon: James Rosenquist
- Icon: Bob Martinez
- Icon: Arnold Palmer
- Icon: Don Shula
- Icon: Mike Peters
- Icon: Margaret D. Lowman
- Icon: Doug Williams
- Icon: Bob Butterworth
- Icon: Fred Schultz
- Icon: Eugene Patterson
- Icon: Harris Mullen
- Icon: Bill Haast
- Icon: Marion P. Hammer
- Icon: Albert Dunlap
- Icon: Joseph Woodrow Hatchett
- Icon video: Joseph Hatchett
- Icon: Talbot 'Sandy' D'Alemberte
- Icon: John Walsh
- Icon: James Robert Cade
- Icon: Nathaniel Pryor Reed
- Icon: Gus Stavros
- Icon: Betty Castor
- Icon: Mary Ann Carroll
- Icon: George Steinbrenner
- Icon: Ferdie Pacheco
- Icon: Vic Dunaway
- Icon: George Smathers
- Icon: Phyllis Apple
- Icon: Nick Bollettieri
- Icon: Harris Rosen
- Icon: Max Mayfield
- Icon: Carrie Meek
- Icon: Andres Duany
- Icon: T. Willard Fair
- Icon: Bobby Bowden
- Icon: Stetson Kennedy
- Icon: Don Francisco
- Icon: Janet Reno
- Icon: Reubin O'D. Askew
- Icon: Clyde Butcher
- Icon: Willie Gary
- Icon: Wayne Huizenga