Former NFL Running Back & Mental Health Awareness Advocate
Tuesday Kick-Off General Session
1:00 pm – 2:30 pm
San Jose Ballroom, San Jose Marriott
Herschel Walker is known for his feats on the gridiron: three-time consensus All American, Heisman Trophy recipient, United States Football League MVP, and longtime NFL running back for the Minnesota Vikings, Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles. Herschel retired in 1997, having gained more yards than any player in professional football history.
But while his on-field successes are well documented, what few knew is that Herschel lived with dissociative identity disorder. In 2008, he released his memoir, titled Breaking Free. In Breaking Free, he shares the inspiring story of his life and diagnosis with this disorder — from the joys and hardships of childhood, to his explosive impact on college football, to his remarkable professional career.
A mental health awareness advocate, Herschel shows how this disorder played an integral role in his accomplishments and how he has learned to live with it today. His compelling account testifies to the strength of the human spirit and its ability to overcome any challenge.
Walker supports numerous charitable and educational organizations. In 1981, he became the first Academy of Achievement honor student to return to the annual program as a recipient of the Golden Plate Award. In 2002, he was voted into the Collegiate Football Hall of Fame, and was selected as the second greatest player in college football history, just behind the legendary Red Grange.