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Leigh Steinberg’s Story

Here at The Best You, we celebrate individuals who embody resilience, passion, and the pursuit of excellence. Today, we delve into the extraordinary life of Leigh Steinberg, a titan in the sports industry whose journey exemplifies the triumph of the human spirit over adversity. From representing iconic athletes to overcoming personal struggles, Leigh’s story is one of perseverance, redemption, and unwavering dedication to making a positive impact and helping people become the best version of themselves. Here is the inspiring tale of a man whose resilience and commitment to excellence have left an indelible mark on the world of sports and beyond.

Born and raised in Los Angeles to teacher and librarian parents, Leigh Steinberg pursued higher education at Cal and served as student body president while earning both undergraduate and law degrees. Throughout his career, he has represented numerous successful athletes and coaches across a spectrum of sports, securing over $4 billion in contracts for his clients and contributing more than $1 billion to charitable causes worldwide.

Steinberg’s dedication to philanthropy has earned him widespread recognition, with commendations from various governmental bodies and organizations, including the Congress, State Senate, State Legislature, the Los Angeles City Council, President Reagan, President Bush and President Clinton. He has been named Man of the Year over a dozen times by a variety of groups, including the March of Dimes, Cedars-Sinai, the Southern California Boy, Scouts, the Orange County and Los Angeles Human Relations Commissions. He has also been awarded the “Keys to the City” in San Francisco, CA, Memphis, TN, Jacksonville, FL and Concord, CA. In 2017, Leigh was inducted into the California Sports Hall of Fame.

His efforts to save sports franchises and his commitment to making a positive impact on society further distinguish him within his profession. He made efforts to save the Giants led then San Francisco Mayor Frank Jordan to declare “Leigh Steinberg Day” in the city. In 1994, then-Oakland Mayor Elihu Harris got Leigh as a consultant in his successful bid to prevent the Oakland Athletics baseball club from relocating. Leigh also served as Co-Chairman of the “Save the Rams” committee to keep the franchise from leaving Southern California.

Steinberg’s influence extends beyond sports, as evidenced by his involvement in major motion pictures and appearances on national television programs and in prominent magazines. He’s credited as the inspiration for the Oscar-winning film Jerry Maguire and was consulted on features such as Any Given Sunday and For Love of the Game. He has been featured on national television programs and a host of magazines have covered him including Business Week, Sports Illustrated, ESPN the Magazine, People, Forbes, Playboy, GQ, and FHM.

He has also shared his expertise on the business of sports and athletes through various media outlets and publications. He wrote notable articles such as “The Future of Sports” for the Sports Business Journal, “Around the NFL in 80 Million Dollars” for Inside Sports Magazine and “The Future of Sport” for the Smithsonian Magazine.

As a bestselling author and influential figure in the sports industry, Steinberg’s legacy is marked by his relentless pursuit of excellence and his dedication to improving lives globally. His best-selling book, Winning with Integrity, provides insight on how to improve life through non-confrontational negotiation. His most recent book, The Agent: My 40-Year Career of Making Deals and Changing the Game, discusses his decades of dominance in the sports industry and sheds light on overcoming his personal struggles to launch his comeback. He has been rated the #6 Most Powerful Person in the NFL according to “Football Digest”, and the #16 Most Powerful Person in Sports according to “Sporting News.”


In 1996, the movie “Jerry Maguire” propelled Leigh Steinberg to national fame as the most renowned sports agent in the United States. However, a decade later, Steinberg found himself on the brink of losing everything, including his license to operate as a talent representative. Tom Cruise’s famous catchphrase from the film — “Show me the money” — took on a cynical dimension after he was forced to file for bankruptcy in 2012. His downfall was accelerated by struggles with alcoholism, which spiraled out of control amidst personal and professional pressures. Arrests for DUI and public intoxication led him to seek help by moving into a sober living facility.

Despite these setbacks, Steinberg has since made a remarkable comeback in the agency business, representing prominent football stars such as Patrick Mahomes and Tua Tagovailoa. His expertise in negotiating contracts was highlighted by Mahomes’ record-breaking $450 million-plus deal with the Kansas City Chiefs.

Steinberg’s recovery involved rebuilding his agency business, Steinberg Sports and Entertainment, with the support of investors who believed in his potential for redemption. Embracing a more boutique approach to representation, he aims to make a positive impact both professionally and philanthropically, driven by a renewed sense of purpose and care for others.


Currently residing in Newport Beach, he continues to inspire audiences internationally, focusing on modalities and treatments aimed at enhancing human performance.


Meet Leigh – steinbergpeaks. (n.d.). https://steinbergspeaks.com/meet-leigh/

Littleton, C. (2021, February 4). How ‘Jerry Maguire’ Legend Leigh Steinberg Rebuilt His Sports Agency After Getting Sober. Variety. https://variety.com/2021/sports/features/jerry-maguire-sports-agent-leigh-steinberg-1234901071/

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