|Birth Day:||November 26, 1953|
|Birth Place:||Florence, United States|
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He played college football at South Carolina State University with Donnie Shell and Willie Mays Aiken.
Before his NFL career, Carson played college football for Willie Jeffries at South Carolina State University from 1972–1975, not missing a single game in four years. He became the first Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference player to win consecutive defensive player of the year honors, and assisted the Bulldogs to consecutive conference championships. In 1975, he was a first team selection on the AFCA College-Division All-America team and set school records with 117 tackles and 17 sacks. With Carson as their captain, the Bulldogs defense recorded six shutouts in 1975, and held their opponents to just 29 points, an NCAA record for a ten-game season. Carson's Bulldog teammates included future Pittsburgh Steelers and College Football Hall of Fame safety Donnie Shell and future Kansas City Royals first baseman Willie Mays Aikens. In 2002, Carson was enshrined in the College Football Hall of Fame.
Attended and graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Education in 1976 from South Carolina State University.
Carson was one of the first practitioners of the "Gatorade shower" which is when the coach of the winning team is doused with a cooler of Gatorade by some of the players following a win. The practice was started by his teammate Jim Burt in 1985 as Carson recounted in his 1987 book Point of Attack: The Defense Strikes Back. When Bill Parcells had Carson as a player with the Giants, he would have him at his side during the singing of the national anthem for good luck.
Since his retirement, Carson has lived with various physical maladies brought on by injuries incurred during his playing days. He was diagnosed with post-concussion syndrome in 1990, and estimates that he had 15 concussions during his long high school, college and professional football career. In 1992, he stated: "I don't think as clearly as I used to. Nor is my speech, diction, selection of vocabulary is as good as it used to be, and I don't know why." In 2001 while he was a broadcaster with the MSG Network he said, "I would mispronounce words and lose my train of thought. Things would happen, and at times I'd think I was going crazy."
Carson was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2006. His selection came after years of outspoken criticism of the Hall of Fame selection process, where his principal criticism was that the vote is done by the media, not players and coaches. In 2004, Carson asked to have his name taken off the ballot.
Despite previously stating that due to his frustration at not being elected he wanted his name removed from the ballot, when elected to the Hall of Fame in 2006 Carson appeared and gave an induction speech. Carson later commented on the selection, saying he was humbled by the selection but noting:
During his Hall of Fame speech in 2006 Harry Carson does not directly mention CTE, but he does mention that he does not think the NFL is doing the best job they can to help out ex-NFL players. When he states "I would hope that the leaders of the NFL, the future commissioner, and the player association do a much better job of looking out for those individuals. You got to look out for 'em. If we made the league what it is, you have to take better care of your own" (Carson). Carson takes an aggressive stand when it comes to CTE and how the NFL handles their own ex-players that are struggling with head trauma later in their lives. Although Harry Carson was an excellent football player he does suggest that kids not start playing football because of the consequences that could come to them later in life. The NFL reached a concussion settlement of 765 million dollars for the former NFL players that sustained head injuries on the field. When Carson was asked about the settlement in a Frontline interview he says, "And so I think everyone now has a better sense of what damage you can get from playing football. And I think the NFL has given everybody 765 million reasons why you don't want to play football" (Carson). Harry Carson thinks the huge settlement is good for the former players, but it also scares people away from playing football because of the chances of head trauma players could experience later in life.
Harry Carson authored his second book "Captain for Life" published by St. Martin's Press in 2011. In his book he documents his experiences with Post Concussion Syndrome. He was one of the first former professional athletes to share his own personal first hand experiences years before the long term effects of concussions and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), long before the subject became a "hot button" topic.
In 2012, Carson was said to be strongly considering a run for Congress against Republican Scott Garrett in the newly redrawn 5th congressional district of New Jersey. His campaign never came to pass.
On May 17, 2015, Harry Carson served as the commencement speaker for New York University School of Professional Studies. Two days later Carson served as the commencement speaker and was presented with an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters Degree from Fairleigh Dickinson University at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey. The honor was bestowed upon Carson for his advocacy not only for his football brethren but for anyone who lives with the effects of a traumatic brain injury. Carson simply says "I have to speak up for all people who really don't have a voice".
In March 2018, Carson joined with former NFL stars Nick Buoniconti and Phil Villapiano to support a parent initiative called Flag Football Under 14, which recommends no tackle football below that age out of a concern for the brain health of the young players. He said, "I did not play tackle football until high school, I will not allow my grandson to play until 14, as I believe it is not an appropriate sport for young children."
Currently, Harry Carson is 69 years, 0 months and 2 days old. Harry Carson will celebrate 70th birthday on a Sunday 26th of November 2023.
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