Tom Brady Biography

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Birth Name: Tom Brady
Born: 08/03/1977
Birth Place: San Mateo, California, USA

He was born Thomas Edward Patrick Brady, Jr. on Aug. 3, 1977 in San Mateo, CA, the last of four children of Galynn and Tom Brady, Sr., who worked as an insurance agent. The Bradys held season tickets to San Francisco 49ers football games and Tom idolized Niners quarterback Joe Montana. Because he grew up in the shadow of his sisters, all of whom were star athletes and went on to collegiate careers, it nurtured a competitive edge he brought to baseball, soccer and basketball. He did not play competitive football until his freshman year at Junipero Serra High School, and a baseball career beckoned in 1995 when the Montreal Expos selected him in the MLB draft. But his game on the gridiron matured as he grew into the optimal quarterback stature of a rangy 6'4", showed considerable game smarts and intuition, and developed razor-sharp throwing accuracy. He wound up throwing for 3,514 yards in his tenure as Serra's quarterback and earned a scholarship to perennial football powerhouse University of Michigan. He found himself competing for depth-chart position with future pros Brian Griese and Drew Henson and wound up sitting out his first two seasons. After Griese quarterbacked the team to a national title in 1997, Brady returned the next fall and beat out Henson for the starting job.

His tenure at the helm of the Wolverines offense would be successful (per a 20-5 record) but inconspicuous, as measured by his mere honorable mention laurels when All-Big Ten teams were posted at season's end. He made a grand showing on a national stage in his final game, however, when he threw for four touchdowns on 369 total yards as Michigan defeated Alabama in an overtime thriller in the 1999 Orange Bowl. Yet, as the 2000 NFL draft approached the next spring, it had done little to raise his stock in the eyes of pro scouts. The Patriots selected him in the sixth round with the 199th pick and relegated him to a reserve role behind starter Drew Bledsoe. In Game 2 of the Patriots' next season, Bledsoe sustained career-threatening injury, so Brady completed the game and was given the start in the next week's contest against the Indianapolis Colts. In his first start against 1998 No. 1 overall Peyton Manning, Brady led New England to a 44-13 victory over the Colts. Though tentative at first, by season's end, Brady proved himself a capable game manager with bursts of brilliance and, in his first playoff game, threw for 312 yards and led a furious fourth quarter comeback to advance to face Pittsburgh.

Brady suffered a leg injury in that game and a rehabbed Bledsoe led the team to a win in the AFC Championship game to advance to Super Bowl XXXVI against the St. Louis Rams. Odds-makers had the Pats as 14-point underdogs. Though Brady - back in the starting lineup - would only pass for 145 yards, the New England defense came up big by forcing three turnovers that led to 17 points. With the score tied 17-17 with 1:21 left in the game, Brady connected on a series of passes to advance the ball to the Rams' 31-yard-line, which set up Pats kicker Adam Vinatieri to win it with a field goal. Brady became the youngest quarterback to win a Super Bowl and was named the game's MVP. He improved his numbers in the 2003 season, throwing for 3,764 yards, but the Patriots struggled with a 9-7 record. They rebounded in 2003 and rode a 12-game winning streak into the playoffs, where Brady again faced off against Manning and downed the Colts to return to the Super Bowl. Super Bowl XXXVIII proved a shoot-out with the Carolina Panthers and, in a curious replay, was tied late in the game when Brady engineered another last-minute drive to set up another Vinatieri field goal to give the New England a 32-29 win. Brady passed for 354 yards and three touchdowns, completed 32 of 48 passes, a Super Bowl record, and took another MVP trophy.

His rising star drew looks from the other side of the entertainment spectrum, as the movie star-handsome sports star was reported to be dating at one time or another, a series of glam beauties, including Playboy centerfold Layla Roberts, Britney Spears and actress Tara Reid. In April 2004, he became one of the rare sports stars to host NBC's weekend comedy showcase "Saturday Night Live" (1975- ). That year, he also began a high-profile relationship with actress Bridget Moynahan. With the 2004 season, Brady led the team to another 14-2 record season and bolstered his efficiency for a 92.6 passer rating. The Pats again dispatched rivals Indianapolis and Pittsburgh in their first two playoff games and scored an impressive repeat NFL title with a 24-21 win against the Philadelphia Eagles in the Super Bowl. With injuries to New England's running back corps the next season, Brady shouldered more of the offense in the 2005 season and threw for 4,110 yards. It proved good enough for a Wild Card playoff berth, but the team lost in the next round.

As Brady moved into sports-icon status, he made more gimmick TV appearances playing himself, most notably on Fox's two flagship cartoons "The Simpsons" (1989- ) and "Family Guy" (1999- ). The latter, in a Super Bowl-themed episode in early 2006, made Brady central to the plot as he recruited titular buffoon Peter Griffin to be his new center, clashed with Peter over his showboating (via an extravagant song-and-dance number), had him traded, then became his bitter rival. In the real world, Brady and Moynahan broke up, and not long after, it was reported he was dating supermodel Gisele Bündchen by late 2006, becoming the envy of men around the world. The triangle became even more tabloid-friendly when it turned out Moynahan was pregnant with Brady's son, who would be born in 2007. Having a child with his ex-girlfriend did little to negatively impact his burgeoning relationship with Bündchen. After another winning season in 2006, Brady again took the Patriots to the AFC Championship game and again squared off against Manning's Colts. Manning won out this time as he led a furious second-half comeback and took Indianapolis on to a Super Bowl win. The 2007 season saw the Patriots offense firing on all cylinders with the blue-chip additions of receivers Wes Welker, Randy Moss and Donté Stallworth, and Brady put together one of the greatest offensive seasons in pro football history. He averaged 300 yards through the air per game and racked up a 4,806 total through a 16-0 season. He set an NFL record of nine straight games with three passing touchdowns or more (breaking Manning's own record in a game against Indy), eclipsed another Manning record by season's end with a total of 50 touchdown passes, threw only eight interceptions and posted a phenomenal 117.2 passer rating for the season.

The Pats returned to the Super Bowl as heavy favorites against the New York Giants, who were led by Manning's younger brother Eli. But the Giants' defense took some fire out of the Patriots' offense. Though Brady took a 14-10 lead late in the game with a TD strike to Moss, Manning engineered an improbable last-minute drive to win the game. Brady suffered a major knee injury in the 2008 season opener and was lost for the season as he underwent reconstructive surgery. He married Bündchen in early 2009. Rehabbed, he returned to lead the Pats back into contention with a 378-passing game to open the 2009 season. On the strength of his 4,398 yards in the air, Brady easily rated the NFL's Comeback Player of the Year award, but a Wildcard-round rematch with old nemesis the Baltimore Ravens sent the Pats home early. On the cusp of the 2010 season, New England rewarded Brady by making him the highest paid star in the NFL by way of a $72 million contract through the 2014 season.

He responded with another near-4,000-yard season, 39 touchdowns through the air and just four interceptions for another 100-plus passer rating (111.0). At one point, he went 335 pass attempts without a pick, setting an NFL record. The performance catalyzed a 14-2 record and garnered Brady another league MVP, but the New York Jets shocked the league by upsetting the Pats in the playoffs. He returned the next season and torched Miami for 517 yards and four touchdowns in the season opener, setting the pace for a blistering season as Brady somehow found a new gear. He racked up 5,235 yards passing, which would otherwise have been a new league record if not for New Orleans QB Drew Brees's eye-popping 5,476-yard season. Brady met the Ravens again in the AFC Championship and this time survived a tight contest to advance to Super Bowl XLVI. But a rematch with Eli Manning and the Giants proved eerily reminiscent of 2008 as Manning's late game heroics secured a 17-14 Giants lead. With 57 seconds left in the game, Brady could not respond in kind. After leading a big-scoring Patriots team to its 10th divisional title in 2012, Brady set another record in the post-season by racking up his 17th playoff victory against the Houston Texans. It set up an AFC Championship game rematch with Baltimore, but the Ravens defense stymied the Pats and the former advanced to win another Super Bowl. The Patriots and Brady in the wake of the season signed a three year-contract extension that would pay him an additional $27 million and likely keep him in a Patriots uniform through the 2017 season.

By Matthew Grimm