Jim Kelly’s Wife: Jill Kelly Net Worth & Family

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Jill Kelly is the popular wife of a famous American former NFL quarterback Jim Kelly, who played for 11 seasons with the Buffalo Bills. Jim’s wife, Jill, is one of the New York Times Best Selling authors.

Jill’s husband, Jim, was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2002.

Jim is a three-time cancer survivor who met his wife during his active playing career.

When he was interviewed at the NFL Honors event, Jim Kelly revealed that he is rooting for Jalen Hurts, playing for the Philadelphia Eagles in the Super Bowl LVll on 12 February 2023.

Former Buffalo Bills and Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly: ‘I’m pulling for Jalen (Hurts)’ to win Super Bowl LVII vs. Chiefs.’

The couple shares a profound belief in Christianity and often reveals how their beliefs towards God allowed them to overcome assorted challenges in their life.

Jill Kelly With Jim Kelly
Jill Kelly With Jim Kelly (Source: Instagram)

They have faced numerous challenges, including the demise of their beloved son. However, they have not let the tragedy undermine their relationship and instead conquer the problems by constantly supporting each other and providing unconditional love. 

The couple had three children together.

In addition, they run a non-profit organization in the name of their late son, Hunter, which we will discuss in more detail later in this article. 

The article here primarily emphasizes the details about Jill Kelly, who has established herself as a writer, host, speaker, and activist.

Quick Facts 

Full Name Jill Marie Kelly
Date Of Birth Not Available 
Nickname Jill 
Religion Christian 
Sexuality Straight
Father’s Name Jerry Waggoner
Mother’s Name  Jacque Waggoner
Place Of Birth  United States 
House Location  East Aurora, New York 
Gender Female
Ethnicity White Caucasian  
Age Not Available 
Profession Author & Speaker 
Books  Without A Word, Peace In The Face Of Loss 
Famous For  Wife Of Jim Kelly 
Nationality American 
Highest Qualification Bachelor In B.A.
School Notre Dame High School
College  Imperial College, London 
Height 5 ft 9 in / 1.75 m / 175 cm
Weight Not Available 
Eye Color Not Available 
Hair Color White
Body Measurements Not Available 
Body Slim
Shoe Size Not Available 
Favorite Sports Basketball 
Relationship Status Married 
Husband  James Edward Kelly
Children 3: Erin, Carlyn (Daughters), And Late Hunter (Son)
Siblings 1, Jack Waggoner
Zodiac Sign  Not Available 
Social Media  Instagram 
Net Worth  Under Review 
Last Update May 2024

Early Life & Education 

Jill was born to Jacque Waggoner and Jerry Waggoner, and she grew up in the center of Attica, where they lived for more than a decade.

One of the eight children from her parents, Jacque, gave birth to her daughter and her son before she turned 21. Jacque went to the University at Buffalo and developed a career in computers. 

Jilly Kelly With Her Family
Jill Kelly Parents With Her Children (Source: Instagram)

Jill attended Notre Dame High School in Batavia, where her teachers entitled her as a hard worker, intelligent, genuine, and friendly kid. 

Kelly attended Imperial College in London. She studied there during the outbreak of the Persian Gulf war. Moreover, she ignored her mother’s fear of terrorism and decided to study amid the chaos. 

After acquiring her B.A., she ignored advice to stay in Western New York and left for Florida. There she moved in with her friends and earned a job in the cable T.V. industry. 


In Western New York, Jill was a promotional assistant with Estee Lauder. She promoted the cosmetics company’s products in Buffalo, Rochester, and Pennsylvania stores.

Before being the wife of a renowned football player, Jill was already used to the public glare.

The TV show “PM Magazine” profiled her when she was 16. Furthermore, the Batavia Daily News ran a front-page story on Jill. 

She was a freelancer for Estee Lauder, where she could work according to her convenient hours. So during her spare time, she used her years of modeling experience to help a family friend run local fashion, modeling, and bridal shows. 

Jill admitted that she liked working with Estee Lauder as she didn’t work on commission. She recalled that she usually works slightly less than 40 hours a week. 

She likes to eat pizza and listen to music (from Kenny G to Van Halen).

Occasionally, she played golf with her brother, a New York State Empire Tour pro, and her dad, the former A-flight champion at the Attica Country Club.

Media Career

After her marriage to Jim Kelly, Jill frequently showed up in several famous TV shows. She was the co-host for a weekly TCT television show named “A Different View.”

In the show, she candidly talked about issues with a biblical perspective with the other four co-hosts.

Moreover, she was a featured columnist for the local monthly Christian Newspaper called “The Word.” It covered civic and community news from a Christian perspective.

Jill and Jim have shared Hunter’s story all over the world. The couple has appeared nationally on television shows, including Good Morning America, Oprah, The Today Show, ESPN Fox Sports, The Discovery Channel, and others.

They have also appeared in various print publications, including McCall’s Magazine, Reader’s Digest, USA Today, and People.

Involvement In Sports 

Jill was an active sports player during high school. Her brother Jack was also equally enthusiastic and participated in sporting activities. 

The only deformity on Jill’s record involves her legendary inability to score in basketball. Her coach described her courteously as “more of a rebounder and passer than a shooter.”

Jill’s mother recalled that she had to get rid of the ball so someone else could score. According to her father, she ran up and down the court like a deer, but Jill didn’t know what to do with the basketball. 

Standing at the height of 1.75 meters, she channeled her mighty height into an advantage.

Her coach and former social studies teacher, William Sutherland, remembered, “She is a girl into the second row of the bleachers with a hip check.” In addition, he also recalls that she was an outstanding and bright student.


Jill has released several books like “Without a Word: How a Boys Unspoken Love Changed Everything,” “Prayers of Hope for The Brokenhearted,” and “Prayers for Those Who Grieve.” The book depicts the story of the tragic loss of her son and how she coped with the situation. 

Similarly, her daughters Erin Kelly Bean and Camryn are also authors and have always been passionate about journalism, writing, and sharing their faith in Jesus.

Moreover, Jill is a member of the board of Hunter’s Hope and often travels with her mum speaking to groups worldwide. 

It is apparent that Jill’s impressive writing skills were passed to her beautiful daughters as they have collectively published the book series “Hot Chocolate with God.”

Faith In God 

Jill is intensely devoted to religion due to her desire to share her hope and faith. She openly and candidly speaks at several engagements, including Eastern Hills Wesleyan, Joshua’s Revolution Youth for Christ, and Family Life Network. 

Jill perpetuates to encourage others and bring hope to those troubled through her knowledge of divine power.

She openly believes in her savior and Lord and inspires everyone to follow God’s path. 

Despite the painful demise of her son, she has devoted her whole life to the testimony of faith and eternal hope in Jesus Christ.  

Jim Kelly

James Edward Kelly, born on February 14, 1960, is a retired American football quarterback. He played eleven seasons with the Buffalo Bills of the NFL.

Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, he attended East Bradly High Scholl. Similarly, he stood out there and won all-state honors after passing 3,915 yards, one interception, and 44 touchdowns in his career. 

He was one of the six quarterbacks picked in the first round of the 1983 NFL Draft and was selected 14th overall pick of the Bills.

Jim Kelly Buffalo Bills
Jim Kelly (Source: Instagram)

However, he did not play for the Bills until the USFL folded in 1986, and he chose to sign with the Houston Gamblers instead. 

From 1990 to the 1993 season, Kelly guided the Bills to a record four consecutive Super Bowls. However, the team lost each game.

He also received first-team All-Pro honors in 1991 and was named to five Pro Bowls.

Kelly is a devoted Jesus follower and operates various business ventures. 

He finished with over 45,000 passing yards and 320 touchdowns, including his time in the NFL and USFL. His number 12 jersey was retired by Buffalo Bills in 2001.

How Did Jim Kelly & Jill Kelly Meet?

Soon after graduating, Jill earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration and started dating Kelly. They first met at a party at Jim’s house.

However, she was in a relationship at that time. The first time Jill met Jim, he tried to grab her attention by pelting her with ice cubes.

Sadly, his tricks did not win him her heart or contact number when he asked how to get in touch.

She said it was great to meet him but refused to be in touch. Later, he bought her a bouquet of flowers, and finally, she agreed to lunch.

One of Jill’s first dates with Kelly was at Fox Valley Country Club. She was skeptical regarding the sports star’s commitment, so she moved to Florida.

Jill moved back to Buffalo when Kelly asked her to move in with him. 

Jill Kelly’s Bond With Jim’s Family 

Kelly was impressed with Jill because of her attachment to his family. He is known for his strong bond with his mother, who he refers to as “St. Alice,” and his siblings.

In addition, there was an incident where he broke up with his girlfriend because his family didn’t like her.  

Jim opened up about the relationship in an interview with Buffalo Magazine that his family would have to accept the person he settled down with.

Kelly also added that people say that’s not fair to the lady, and he also doesn’t think it is, but that’s reality.

According to Dan Kelly, the bother of Jim, the family stamp of approval was not a big deal for Jill. He said that Jim has this glow in his eyes that is visible when he talks about her. 

In addition, the most crucial member of the Kelly family gave Jill the thumbs-up. Kelly’s mom is a great judge of character, and she loves her. 


Like every couple’s engagement, Kelly surprised Jill by taking her to one of their favorite restaurants, Ilio DePaolo’s restaurant in Blasdell. 

Since they usually went to that place, Jill had an inch of idea about Kelly’s surprise. She did not feel like anything out of the ordinary.

Jim and Jill Kelly during their wedding
 Jim And Jill Kelly During Their Wedding (Source: Instagram)

Then he said he had a particular dessert order, and she remembered he was timid the whole time. 

A moment later, the staff rolled out a cake with a bigger than 2-carat diamond ring on top. It was a marquis solitaire which Kelly selected out himself.

Overwhelmed with the situation, she started to cry and said, “I will” on the spot. The pair tied the knot on May 18, 1996, and has been together for more than 25 years.    


Jill and Jim have founded various organizations and events in honor of their son, including the Hunter James Kelly Research Institute, Hunter’s Day of Hope, and Hunter’s Hope.

When Jim was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2002, his speech was dedicated to his late son. The speech stated that the toughest person he met was his hero, soldier, and son, Hunter.

The Hunter’s Hope Foundation was established in his name to aid and fund research into the fatal disease and to offer support and hope to its victims worldwide. Likewise, the annual Hunter’s Day of Hope is held on February 14.

The Hunter James Kelly Research Institute was founded in 2004 at the University of Buffalo, where clinicians and neuroscientists research myelin and its diseases.


Jim and Jill are blessed with three children: Erin, Hunter, and Camryn Kelly. Unfortunately, Hunter passed away because he was terminally ill.

When Jim decided to retire, Jill was pregnant with their second child. The family’s first boy was born on Valentine’s Day in 1997 and named Hunter Kelly.

In addition, he shared a birthday with his father. Jim dreamed about playing baseball with his son.

But unfortunately, when the boy was four months, he was diagnosed with Krabbe disease, a chronic genetic disorder that affected his motor skills. So he never learned to speak.

Jill wished that Jim’s money or fame would provide a solution, but it couldn’t. There was no cure, treatment, or earthly hope for the couple and Hunter.

Jill prayed to Jesus while Jim ran away. He was agitated that bad things kept happening and angry that God wasn’t with them. Unfortunately, it created a gulf between the couple.

Net Worth

There is no official information regarding Jill Kelly’s net worth. However, as per different trusted sources, the annual salary of an author in America is $61,240. Jill also earns a decent amount through her media appearances.

Moreover, she shares a massive fortune with her husband, Jim Kelly, who has an estimated net worth of $25 million as of 2024. Although he retired more than two-decade ago, he still has a whopping net worth.

Jim signed a 6-year deal valued at $18.65 million with Buffalo, which was $3.1 million per season. His total NFL career earnings are just under $27 million, which is the same as around $55 million in today’s dollars.

He has mainly accumulated this staggering net worth through his successful football career. Moreover, he is also engaged in various endorsements and sponsorships.

Also, he founded Jim Kelly Inc. in 2011, a company that produces the MyFanClip line, which bears all sorts of team logos and other insignia.

He has also appeared in a few films, adding a significant chunk to his net worth.

Social Media Profile

Jill Kelly is quite active on social media platforms. She consistently posts pictures along with her husband and daughters.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Jill Kelly (@jillmkelly)

Her Instagram username is @jillmkelly. Likewise, her husband is also active on Instagram as @jimkelly1212.

Instagram (@jillmkelly): 62.6k followers

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS)

What was Jill Kelly‘s maiden name?

Jill Kelly was born Jill Waggoner. She is known for her work on Rosie O‘Donnell Show (1996), CBS This Morning (1992), and A Football Life (2011).

What disease does Jim Kelly had?

Jim Kelly was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma, a form of cancer, in his upper jaw on June 3, 2013. He had stage IV cancer and had less than a 10% chance of survival. However, he went through 3 cancer diagnoses, and after multiple surgeries and treatment, he is cancer-free.

Where did Jill and Jim Kelly get married?

Jill and Jim Kelly tied the knot in a Roman Catholic service at St. Christopher's Church in suburban Buffalo. The marriage ceremony was lavish and attended by more than 600 guests.


Prajita Karki
Prajita Karkihttps://playersbio.com/
Hi, I'm Prajita Karki. I currently write articles related to players for Hansikar Technologies. Writing has always been like therapy to me. I'm still in the early stages of my writing career, but it's been a fun ride so far! Do check my articles through Players Bio.

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