WASHINGTON, D.C. – To kick off a busy weekend that featured the Final Four at AT&T Stadium and an appearance at the Academy of Country Music Awards ceremony in Las Vegas, the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans inducted Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones into their 2014 award class on Friday at their 67th annual meeting at the Daughters of the American Revolution Constitution Hall in the nation’s capital.
The association, which honors captains of industry who give, “their time, talent, treasure and trust in its mission to help deserving young people” presented the Cowboys president and general manager with a lifetime membership along with eleven other nominees.
Coming from modest beginnings in central Arkansas, Jones always has held a job as long as his memory could serve.
In February 1989, Jerry Jones purchased the Dallas Cowboys from H.R. “Bum” Bright for $140 million. Today, he has turned them into a $2.3 billion franchise, seated at the top spot as the NFL’s most profitable club.
People often wonder where Jerry Jones got his work ethic, and the three-time Super Bowl champion owner cites his father and mother as stark examples.
“They were great examples to me,” Jones elaborated, “that work ethic was important when competing and when trying to make your life better.”
In September 2013, Jones was nominated for the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and he also is a member of the National Football Foundation. His presence on the pro football stage has transformed the sport.
It is hard to imagine there was a time in his adolescence that he contemplated forsaking the game.
“I played in the Arkansas All-Star game,” Jones recalls. “And I just got beat up – really beat up. So I quit and came home.
“My father came in he said, ‘Do you love football?’ and I said, ‘Yes.’
“He said, ‘Son, you can lay here in this bed and you’re going to be a loser for the rest of your life. Now get up, and if they ask you to be the water boy, drown them with the damn water.’
“I’ve always remembered that.”
During Jones’ induction, he spent time with Texas’ Horatio Alger National Scholars on Friday evening. On Monday night, though featured prominently with presidents on television in his suite at the national championship game, the real driving force behind the premier collegiate games being played in North Texas was his daughter, Charlotte Jones Anderson.
For Jones, that type of involvement is priceless.
“Of all of the things about the Cowboys, probably the thing that I am proudest of is that we got to do it as a family,” said Jones.
Anderson, executive vice president and chief brand officer, is the youngest of Gene and Jerry’s three children, who all work in the Dallas Cowboys front office. Eldest son, Stephen Jones, is the club’s executive vice president and chief operating officer, while middle son, Jerry, Jr., is also an executive vice president and chief of sales and marketing officer.
The family is also involved in the Gene and Jerry Jones Family Foundation, which enlists, “every member of the organization to provide a unique and cutting edge approach to community outreach.”
For more information on the Gene and Jerry Jones Family Foundation, click here
For more information on the Horatio Alger Association, click here.