DALLAS––Lincolnton native Pettis Norman, a noted Dallas Cowboys football star, has a new book out.
The six-three, 220-pound Norman was a tight end for the Cowboys and, later, for the San Diego Chargers in a career that spanned from the early 1960’s to the early ’70’s. Norman, who turns 83 in January, is inviting all his friends, fans and colleagues to read his autobiography, The Pettis Norman Story: A Journey Through the Cotton Fields to the Super Bowl and into Servant-Leadership.
According to its editor, Melanie Saxton, you won’t want to miss this.
“Imagine,” Saxton said Saturday, “sitting down with an old-school Dallas Cowboy and hearing tales about the early days: the plays, the teammates, Coach (Tom) Landry, the Ice Bowl, Super Bowl V and much more. Then imagine if other players weighed in and gave you an insider’s view from the field. This is precisely what you can expect in Pettis Norman’s autobiography, filled with stories that capture the blood, sweat and tears that built a legacy on and off the field. The book is available on Amazon, just in time for Christmas.”
Fellow Dallas Cowboys star Roger Staubach also weighed in. Staubach is also among Norman’s good friends.
“Looking back,” he said, “everyone really respected Pettis. He was a really good football player. He got the job done as a receiver and was as good as anyone as a blocker. I got to know him as a human being and really like him as a friend. Pettis is someone who has been a positive force in trying to continue to overcome discrimination. He’s been able to get his message across in a very positive way. I’ve always had respect for the way he handles things. He’s a good man.”
Norman also extols the late, legendary Landry, who was both his coach and his mentor. Of Norman, Landry once said:
“Pettis showed the fortitude, drive and character to work his way up from very humble beginnings to gain a college degree and then become a vice-president of a bank in Dallas. He was an inspiration during times when people needed someone positive with whom to relate.”
In fact, the entire Landry family was fond of Pettis, as Tom Landry, Jr. attests.
“I remember carrying Pettis’s helmet every day after practice,” he said. “Like my mom, I admire Pettis very much, and he’s one of my all-time favorite Cowboys, too! I can’t say enough about Pettis. He’s a great person.”
Norman left Lincolnton at the age of 12, but he still retains fond memories, according to wife Ivette. He went on to play football at West Charlotte High School and at Johnson C. Smith University.
“He devotes a great amount of his book to those early years,” Saxton said of Lincolnton. “It was a wonderful place to grow up.”
Norman was a leader in the civil rights movement, helping both the Cowboys and the city of Dallas to desegregate, back in the early ’60’s. He has worked with several presidents and presidential candidates, and he is known for his work as a businessman. The Dallas Together Forum, which he launched, has helped increase the city’s minority and women-owned businesses.