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Additional Statements

Sen. Jeff Sessions

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Mr. President, I rise today to recognize the achievements of John Stallworth on the occasion of his recent induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on August 4, 2002.

Mr. Stallworth was born on July 15, 1952 in Tuscaloosa, AL. At the age of 5 he was told by doctors that he had polio, later found to be a mis-diagnosis. Mr. Stallworth overcame that hurdle to excel at a number of sports. In high school, he served as captain of his school's football team and went on to play his college ball at Alabama A&M located in Normal, Alabama just outside of Huntsville. While at Alabama A&M, Mr. Stallworth was an All-Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference receiver in 1972 and 1973 and became the Bulldogs' all-time leading receiver. He was also the first Alabama A&M player to be selected to participate in the Senior Bowl, college football's premiere all-star game in Mobile.

He was selected by the NFL Pittsburgh Steelers in the fourth round of the 1974 NFL draft, the 82nd player taken that year. I think a few teams around the league kicked themselves later for passing him up when they saw what he could do on the football field. After spending his first year as an understudy, he became a starter in his second season and held that job with the Steelers for the rest of his 14 year, 165-game career. The 6-2, 191 pound receiver teamed first with Lynn Swann and later with Louis Lipps to give the Steelers unusually potent pass-receiving tandems. Stallworth caught 537 passes for 8,723 yards and 63 touchdowns, all Steelers team records. Stallworth won four Super Bowl championships playing in Super Bowls IX, X, XIII, and XIV. He played in six AFC championship games and had 12 touchdowns and 17 consecutive postseason games with at least one reception. Stallworth, who scored the winning touchdown on a 73-yard reception in Super Bowl XIV, holds Super Bowl records for career average per catch--24.4 yards--and single game average, 40.33 yards, in Super Bowl XIV. He was an All-Pro in 1979 and played in four Pro-Bowls. He was voted MVP by his teammates twice: in 1979 and 1984. Terry Bradshaw and Jack Lambert are the only other players who have received that honor two times. Stallworth was named to the Steelers' All-Time Team in 1982 and the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame in 1989.

Never known for excessive celebration or as one who sought individual attention, Hall of Fame Coach Chuck Noll said of Stallworth:

John is a very special person. He is very much a team man and you need that to be successful.

Following his Hall of Fame football career, Mr. Stallworth returned to Huntsville, Alabama completed his MBA from Alabama A&M. Since then, he has achieved great success in the field of business. He is Cofounder, President, and Chief Executive Officer of Madison Research Corporation in Huntsville, Alabama. Under Mr. Stallworth's leadership, the Madison Research Corporation has emerged as one of the premier technology companies in the State of Alabama with 2001 revenues of over $60 million and a current staff of over 650 people. Some of his company's clients include: the Department of Defense, all the military services, the Department of Energy, NASA, the Defense Intelligence Agency, and a number of Fortune 500 companies. As a result of Mr. Stallworth's leadership, Washington Technology Magazine ranked Madison Research Company #11 of the nation's top 25 small, minority-owned technology companies. The company also received the 1998 Better Business Bureau of North Alabama's Torch Award for market ethics. This award was presented in recognition of Madison Research's commitment to ethics in business. Mr. Stallworth also received the 1997 Region IV Minority Small Business Person of the Year Award, presented by the Small Business Administration.

Mr. Stallworth's dedication did not end with football or business. He has given of himself to the city of Huntsville and the people of Alabama and they recently recognized his accomplishments with ``John Stallworth Day in Huntsville''. At the celebration Mel Blount, himself a Hall of Famer, spoke of Stallworth:

John Stallworth exemplifies what a true professional is all about, not just in football but in the business world and in life.

Mr. Stallworth has served on a number of boards including the United Way, the Museum of Aviation, the Madison County Chamber of Commerce, the U.S. Space Camp, Harris Home for Underprivileged Children, and Alabama A&M University. He has been active with the Huntsville Boys and Girls Club, the United Negro College Fund, the Children's Advocacy Center, the Rotary Club of Huntsville, the Alzheimer's Association of Greater Huntsville, and Big Brothers/Big Sisters of North Alabama to name a few. He is also chairman of the Board of Directors of the John L. Stallworth Scholarship Foundation which helps to promote the education of our youth.

I have had the opportunity to get to know John Stallworth over the years and I can say that I am proud to call him my friend. He has served on my technology advisory committee and has been an asset to my work here in the Senate. He has never hesitated to provide me with expert counsel on important issues that have come before the Senate. It is very satisfying for me to see how he has overcome adversity in his life to achieve greatness as a professional and as a human being. His accomplishments on and off the field have inspired thousands of our young people to strive for excellence and I applaud his efforts. The People of the State of Alabama are proud to call him our native son.

I am proud to recognize the accomplishments of a great American and Alabamian, John Stallworth.