Ken O’Brien Bio | Early Life, Draft, Wife & Net Worth

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There are many successful football player’s who’ll forever be remembered by the NFL even if their professional careers have ended.

Ken O’Brien is someone who’s the best known for his successful and progressive football career. To sum up, Ken is an American professional football quarterback player.

He has played football with various leagues like the New York Jets, Green Bay Packers, and Philadelphia Eagles. However, Brien spent 11 years on the field before starting as a coach. 

Even being a retired football player, he has made a name for himself in the football world, mostly recalled for decades.

Young Ken
Young Ken O’Brien

Considered as one of the highest-rated quarterbacks in the NFL, he finished 1985 with a rating of 96.2.

To know more about the New York Jets quarterback, make sure you read till the end. Before moving on, let’s have a look at some of the quick facts. 

Quick Facts:

Full Name Kenneth John O’Brien Jr.
Date of Birth November 27, 1960
Birth Place Rockville Centre, New York, United States
Nick Name Ken O’Brien
Religion Christianity
Nationality American
Ethnicity White
Zodiac Sign Sagittarius
Age 63 years old
Height 6’4″ (1.93 m)
Weight 200 lb (91 kg)
Hair Color Black
Eye Color Brown
Build Athletic
Father’s Name Unknown
Mother’s Name Unknown
Siblings Unknown
Education Jesuit High School
University of California 
Marital Status Married
Wife Shelly O’Brien
Kids Yes (4)
Profession Football Player
Position Quarterback Player
Affiliations New York Jets
Green Bay Packers
Philadelphia Eagles
Active Years Player: 1983 – 1993/ Coach: 1997-1999
Net Worth $10 million 
Social Media Not Active
Merch Autographed Jets Photo, Football Card
Last Update May, 2024

Ken O’Brien | Early Life, Family, and Education

Ken was born on November 27, 1960, in Rockville Centre, New York. Sadly, there is not much information when it comes to his parents and siblings.

Talking about the academic qualification of Brien, he joined Jesuit High School in Carmichael, California.

During his high school days, he focused on his studies and played for the school football team. 

Upon graduating high school, Ken joined the University of California for his higher education. He spends four years at the University of California, i.e., from 1978-1982.

During his college days, he placed for the various college football teams and officially started his professional career after college completion.

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How old is Ken O’Brien? Age, Height, and Physical Appearances

Kenneth John O’Brien Jr, by birthname, is 63 years of old. He is born under the sun-sign of Sagittarius, who is known for being optimistic, fair-minded, honest, and intellectual.

Moving on, the former quarterback still stands tall with a height of 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m). It is quite a tall height as compared to the average human height. 

Most football players have a height of 6 feet or more, but Brien’s is exceptionally tall. 

Likewise, Ken weighs around 200 lb (91 kg) which he has achieved through proper exercise and necessary diet plans.

Unfortunately, the information regarding his body measurements, shoe size is not available for now. Additionally, with his dashing personality, the retired football player possesses black hair and brown eyes. 

Moreover, American nationality Brien belongs to the White ethnicity. Also, he follows the Christianity religion from the time of birth.

Ken O’Brien | Professional Career

As mentioned earlier, Brien started his football journey from his high school days.  After that, he played football at the Sacramento State.

Ken continued his football career even at the University of California. He was trained by the head coach of the University, Jim Sochor.

Later in the year 1997, he was also selected in the College Football Hall of Fame.

Ken O'Brien
Ken O’Brien inside the field.

The quarterback player officially started his professional career after he signed the contract with the New York Jets. He was selected to play for the 1983 NFL draft by the Jets. 

Brien became the first quarterback player to score more than 400 yards in a game with 158.3 ratings during his career.

Likewise, he is the quarterback player to hold a record of 927 yards and 10 touchdowns with Dan Marino.

Early Retirement

After the 1993 season ended, Brien announced his retirement from his football career. Not to mention, he retired from football at the age of 33.

Sadly the reasons for retirement from his football career are still is unknown at the moment.

Ken O’Brien | Life After Football

After retirement, Ken started his coaching career. He then joined the University of Southern California as an assistant coach.

In the university, he coached Carson Palmer, the winner of the Heisman Trophy and the former Arizona Cardinals quarterback player.

Besides coaching, Ken has appeared in different television talk shows. He has made a guest appearance in a television show, Home Improvement, in The Eve Of Construction.

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Ken O’Brien | Career Highlights and Awards

Brien has spent more than 11 years in NFL. During this short NFL career, he has been honored with different awards and achievements.

Here we have listed some major awards and achievements of the quarterback.

  • 1985, 1991 – Selected for Pro Bowl
  • 1982 – NCAA Division II All-American & Most outstanding male athlete
  • 1985 – NFL passer rating leader & AFC Player of the Year 
  • 1990 – Cal Aggie Athletic Hall of Fame
  • 1997 – College Football Hall of Fame Inductee

Ken O’Brien | Net Worth and Salary

Like many other quarterback players, Ken has been able to make millions throughout his playing career.

“As of 2024 Ken O’Brien net worth is Estimated to be around $10 Million.”

This huge amount of money is earned from the football career and the coaching career. Brien has spent more than 10 years in his football career as a quarterback player.

After retirement, he started coaching different professional teams. From all this evidence, we can assume that Ken is quite a wealthy player.

He has made a huge sum that includes prizes from different football tournaments and many endorsement brand deals from an early age.


After completing his University education, Ken signed a 4-year contract with the New York Jets worth $1.7 Million. The contract with the Jets made him the highest-paid rookie in the Jet’s history.

However, the contract amount with the Philadelphia Eagles is still not revealed to the public.

Shelly and Ken Enjoying Vacations
Shelly and Ken Enjoying Vacations

At present, Ken lives a luxurious and enjoyable life with his wife and kids. Unfortunately, the information regarding Brien’s apartments, cars, the bank balance is still unknown to the public. 

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Ken O’Brien Personal Life | Wife & Kids

Along with a strong, promising career, Brien has got a dashing look. During the young age of Ken, he indeed has attracted many girls.

But the quarterback was only attracted to a single lady from his sixth grade who is currently his wife.

Yes, Ken is a happily married man. He married his long-time ago girlfriend, Shelly O’Brien.

However, there is no exact date when the couple tied their wedding knot, but we are sure that the wedding was big as that of Royals wedding.

Brien Family
Brien Family

After few years of the wedding, the couple was blessed with four children, i.e., three daughters: Kelly, Taylor, and Paige, and a son named Blake

Ken’s children are all grown now.

On December 27, 1990, Paige was born and an Instagram star, Cinematographer, and film editor. The young girl has worked in several films like Tell Me a Story, Let it Go, and Black Wolf.

Likewise, she married an actor named Josh Peck in 2017 and is blessed with a baby boy, Max Milo Peck.

Moving on, the son of Ken O’Brien, Blake, was born on December 13, 1988. He is also a football player like his father and plays for Fresno State.

Besides football, he loves golf, hunting, and hanging out on the beach.

To conclude, Brien is enjoying and is quite satisfied with his family and his kids’ success.

Everything is well with the family, and there are no rumors of separation or divorce between Ken and his wife.

Social Media Presence:

Brien being a widely renowned quarterback player worldwide. He has plenty number of fans and followers from all over the world.

Despite having all these fan followings, Brien is not active on any of the social media platforms.

There is no specific reason the quarterback is away from the social media platforms. But it seems that Ken wants to keep his life private on social media and doesn’t want to show it in front of the public.

Some FAQs:

What was the Jersey number of Ken O’Brien?

Ken wore the Jersey numbers #7 and #15 during his football career.

When did Kenneth retire from his football career?

Kenneth retired from his football career in the year 1993 years at the age of 33. 

Is Ken O’Brien in the Hall of Fame?

Ken O’Brien was selected for the College Football Hall of Fame inductee in 1997.

What year was Ken O’Brien drafted?

Ken O’Brien was drafted by the New York Jets in the 1st round (24th overall) of the 1983 NFL Draft.

How much is a Ken O’Brien football card worth?

Ken O’Brien football card price ranges from $0.99-$49.99.

What is Ken O’Brien’s passer rating?

Ken O’Brien’s overall passer rating is 80.4.

What is Ken O’Brien doing now?

Ken O’Brien is currently a partner at IWP Wealth Management in Manhattan Beach, California.

Barsha Paudel
Barsha Paudel

Barsha Paudel

Barsha Paudel is a versatile writer whose literary prowess extends into the realm of sports journalism. With a keen eye for detail and a passion for storytelling, she crafts compelling narratives that transport readers into the heart of the action, offering a nuanced perspective on the world of athletics.


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  • Barsha's features are a captivating blend of in-depth analysis and immersive storytelling.
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With a background in journalism and a genuine love for sports, Barsha brings a wealth of expertise to her writing. Her ability to capture the essence of sporting moments and convey them with eloquence and depth has earned her recognition as a rising talent in the field of sports journalism.

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