Johnny Unitas was an All-Pro football player. He was named the Player of the Decade for the 1960s. He was named the "Greatest Player in the First 50 Years of Pro Football." He led his Baltimore Colts team to a Super Bowl victory. People thought that life must have been really good for Johnny Unitas. But he had to work hard for it.
Johnny U, as his many fans called him, was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The day was May 7. The year was 1933. Johnny's father died when he was only five years old. His mother was an immigrant from Lithuania. She worked two jobs in order to keep a roof over their heads.
Johnny loved to play football as a boy. He started high school playing halfback and end. When John was an underclassman at St. Justin's Catholic High School, the senior quarterback broke his ankle. The coach decided that John knew enough of the plays to replace the team leader. He continued to play quarterback through high school. He was good enough to draw the attention of several college coaches.