Leigh Steinberg - One of the greatest sports agents in history tells his inspiring story of overcoming alcohol to reach the pinnacle of success
Leigh was born and raised in Los Angeles by his parents, a teacher and librarian. He obtained both his undergraduate and law degrees from Cal where he was student body president during each tenure. Leigh has represented many of the most successful athletes and coaches in football, basketball, baseball, hockey, boxing, golf, etc., including the number one overall pick in the NFL draft for an unprecedented eight times in conjunction with 62 total first round picks. Furthermore, Leigh has represented other notable athletes such as Oscar De La Hoya and Lennox Lewis, as well as multiple Olympians and professional teams. With an unrivaled history of record-setting contracts, Leigh has secured over $4 billion for his 300+ pro athlete clients and directed more than $750 million to various charities around the world.
Leigh is easily distinguished from others within his profession by his passion for giving to those less fortunate and his endless campaign to make our world a better place. He has received commendations from Congress, State Senate, State Legislature, the Los Angeles City Council, the Orange County Board of Supervisors, President Reagan, President Bush and President Clinton. Leigh has been named Man of the Year over a dozen times by a variety of groups including the March of Dimes, Cedars-Sinai, the Southern California Boy, Scouts, the Orange County and Los Angeles Human Relations Commissions, the Orange County and Los Angeles divisions of the Anti-Defamation League, and several other professional and charitable organizations. He has also been awarded the “Keys to the City” in San Francisco, CA, Memphis, TN, Jacksonville, FL and Concord, CA. In 2017, Leigh was inducted into the California Sports Hall of Fame. His efforts to save the Giants led then San Francisco Mayor Frank Jordan to declare “Leigh Steinberg Day” in the city. In 1994, then-Oakland Mayor Elihu Harris utilized Leigh as a consultant in his successful bid to prevent the Oakland Athletics baseball club from relocating. Leigh also served as Co-Chairman of the “Save the Rams” committee in its attempt to keep the franchise from leaving Southern California.
Leigh is often credited as the inspiration for the Oscar-winning film Jerry Maguire. In addition to receiving a production credit for the movie, Leigh also consulted on features such as Any Given Sunday, For Love of the Game, and Arli$$. He has been featured on national television programs such as “60 Minutes,” “Larry King Live,” “Fox News,” “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous,” and many more. A host of magazines have covered him including Business Week, Sports Illustrated, ESPN the Magazine, People, Forbes, Playboy, GQ, and FHM. Additionally, he has supplied his expertise on the business of sports and athletes for “The Dan Patrick Show,” in front of “ The Jim Rome Show,” and “The Herd with Colin Cowherd,” and multiple other radio and TV outlets. Leigh contributes a weekly column to Forbes, The Huffington Post, and the Daily Pilot, while occasionally contributing a guest column to The New York Times, Sporting News, and Yahoo Sports. In addition, Leigh has penned notable articles such as “The Future of Sports” for the Sports Business Journal, “Around the NFL in 80 Million Dollars” for Inside Sports Magazine and “The Future of Sport” for the Smithsonian Magazine. Leigh wrote a best-selling book, Winning with Integrity, providing insight on how to improve life through non-confrontational negotiation.
Furthermore, Leigh’s most recent book, The Agent: My 40-Year Career of Making Deals and Changing the Game, details his decades of dominance in the sports industry and sheds light on overcoming his personal struggles to launch his comeback. Leigh has been rated the #6 Most Powerful Person in the NFL according to “Football Digest” and the #16 Most Powerful Person in Sports according to “Sporting News.” He resides in Newport Beach and has three children.