Teaching Students About Alan Autry

Teaching students about Alan Autry is an exciting opportunity to dive into the life and career of a man who has worn many hats. From professional football player to Hollywood actor, and then to serving as the mayor of Fresno, California, Alan Autry’s life story can inspire and motivate students from all walks of life. In this article, we will cover key aspects of his life that can be utilized in your lesson plans, engaging students in discussions on determination, pursuit of one’s dreams, and civic responsibility.

Early Life and Football Career

Born Carlos Alan Autry Jr., on July 31st, 1952 in Shreveport, Louisiana, Autry faced various challenges throughout his childhood. Raised in a predominantly impoverished environment, he defied the odds by pursuing a career in sports, focusing specifically on football.

After playing quarterback for the Green Bay Packers during the 1975-1976 NFL season, Autry then moved onto the Canadian Football League for a short time before ultimately retiring from professional sports. Showing your students that it is possible to overcome adversity and break boundaries can empower them to chase their own dreams.

Transition into Acting

Following his sports career, Autry ventured into Hollywood. He used a stage name “Carlos Brown” and appeared in various film and television roles. However, his most notable role came as police officer Bubba Skinner on the CBS drama series “In the Heat of the Night” from 1988 to 1995. Autry’s acting career serves as a valuable example of personal reinvention and pursuing new passions when one chapter of your life concludes.

Political Involvement

Alan Autry’s dedication to public service took shape after his acting career began to wind down. He entered politics in 2000 and successfully ran for mayor of Fresno, California, by gaining 58% of the available votes in a non-partisan race. Throughout his tenure as mayor from 2001 to 2009, Autry tackled several pressing social challenges in his community, such as crime rates and homelessness.

Incorporating Alan Autry’s political career into your lesson plan can spark discussion on the importance of public service, positive change on a local level, and the necessity for active involvement in one’s community.


Teaching students about Alan Autry is an engaging way to explore various aspects of personal growth, resilience, and adaptability. By examining his life story as a football player, actor, and mayor, students can forge connections between their own lives and aspirations while learning about determination and perseverance.

Alan Autry’s story showcases how overcoming obstacles and continuously pursuing one’s dreams can lead to remarkable achievements. Allow these lessons to resonate with your students as they navigate their own journeys of conquering their individual challenges and realizing their full potential.

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