Roger Goodell was born in Jamestown, New York, about an hour south of Buffalo, on February 19, 1959, the third of five sons of Charles and Jean Goodell. The Goodell family moved to Bronxville, New York, in 1971, where Roger graduated from high school. A three-sport participant at Bronxville High School in football, basketball, and baseball, Goodell captained all three teams as a senior and was named the athlete of the year at Bronxville High. Goodell graduated magna cum laude from Washington & Jefferson College in Washington, Pennsylvania in 1981 with a degree in economics and received the school's Walter Hudson Baker Prize for excellence in economics. Roger and his wife Jane live in the New York City area with their twin daughters.
Prior to being named commissioner, Goodell managed numerous football and business operations during his first 24 years in the NFL. Goodell joined the NFL in 1982 as an administrative intern in the league office in New York. After spending the 1983 season as an intern with the New York Jets, Goodell returned to the league office in 1984 as an assistant in the public relations department. In 1987, he was appointed assistant to the president of the American Football Conference, Lamar Hunt, by then-Commissioner Pete Rozelle. Under Rozelle's successor, Paul Tagliabue, Goodell served in various senior executive roles and was appointed executive vice president and chief operating officer in 2001. As chief operating officer, Goodell was responsible for the league's football operations and officiating departments in addition to supervising all league business functions.
Roger Goodell is the eighth chief executive in the NFL's 96-year history. He was chosen by the NFL club owners to be commissioner on August 8, 2006 and took office on September 1, 2006. Commissioner Goodell's priorities have focused on making the game better and safer, and successfully growing the popularity of the NFL and its 32 teams. Fan interest in the NFL has soared under his leadership, including the largest television audiences in league history, enormous growth in online and social media engagement, and other measures of business success.