Portland, OR

This Portland football star is giving away millions

Ash Jurberg

Over the last month, I have written a series of articles on business leaders, celebrities, and entrepreneurs who have been giving back to the community. I like to spread good news stories, and readers enjoy these uplifting articles.

Today I wanted to shine the spotlight on a man who was born and raised in Portland and has been very generous in his charitable donations.

That man is Ndamukong Suh- let's examine his story.

The Portland football star

Ndamukong Suh was born in Portland in 1987.

He attended Grant High School in Portland, where he excelled in soccer, football, track, and basketball. His excellence across these sports saw him earn:

  • Parade Magazine high school All-America honors in his senior year
  • The 2004 Portland Interscholastic League Defensive Player of the Year
  • Honorable-mention All-League honors as a junior and senior for basketball.
  • A finalist for the Portland Tribune's Athlete of the Year for his feats in athletics

Suh attended the University of Nebraska, where he was a finalist for the Heisman Trophy in 2009 and also won the Lombardi Award. In 2010 he was taken with the second pick in the NFL draft by the Detroit Lions, launching his NFL career.

Suh has also focused on success off the field and has invested in real estate, hospitality, and other ventures. Along with endorsements from companies such as Nike, Subway, and Chrysler, Suh has built a sizeable net worth. And he has been generous in giving some of this away.


Before he was even drafted into the NFL, Suh was making sizable donations.

In 2010, Suh donated $2 million to the athletic department at his alma mater, Nebraska University, plus another $600,000 to the school’s College of Engineering to provide scholarships. His gift is the largest single charitable contribution by any former player.

Suh hasn't forgotten his local Portland community.

In 2013, when Grant High School had its athletics track deemed unsafe and it was closed for school competitions, Suh stepped in. He donated $250,000 to the school’s project to get a new track and field.

"I wanted to be somebody who can  shut the door... who could make sure this is fully done, because these kids deserve something great.To me, this situation was kind of sad because this is a place where I grew up. I have blood, sweat and tears on this field. I feel like this is something we should have had when I was here." Ndamukong Suh

Suh has also established the Suh Family Foundation, which "works with communities to equip people with the resources they need to sustain long-term success." This foundation has launched several initiatives, including:

  • a financial literacy-focused giveaway. Suh gave 20 fans $1000 each and a free yearlong membership to a leading investment platform so they could set themselves up for long-term success.
  • during the Super Bowl in 2021, the Suh Family Foundation partnered with BAE's Fried Chicken to donate all proceeds from BAEs sales to the foundation. These funds were used to help the Portland community.
  • Suh has also run courses to help bring financial literacy to Portland students.

Readers, what do you think of Suh's story? What other organizations in Portland would you like to see him support?

Please leave your comments below.

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