|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Oklahoma's 1st district
November 29, 1994 – February 15, 2002
|Preceded by||Jim Inhofe|
|Succeeded by||John Sullivan|
|Born|| September 28, 1954
Tulsa, Oklahoma, U.S.
|Alma mater||University of Tulsa (BS)|
|Height:||5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)|
|Weight:||187 lb (85 kg)|
|High school:||Putnam City (OK)|
|NFL Draft:||1976 / Round: 4 / Pick: 117|
|* Offseason and/or practice squad member only|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics|
|Player stats at PFR|
Stephen Michael Largent (born September 28, 1954) is a retired American football player, enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and a former Republican politician, having served in the U.S. House of Representatives for Oklahoma, from 1994 until 2002. Prior to his political career, Largent was a wide receiver for the Seattle Seahawks in the National Football League for his entire 14-season professional football career. He held several all-time receiving records when he retired.
In 1974 at the University of Tulsa, he had 884 yards receiving and 14 TD catches. In 1975, he had 51 catches for 1,000 yards and 14 TD catches.
Despite an All-American career at Tulsa, Largent was not selected until the fourth round of the 1976 NFL draft by the Houston Oilers (117th pick). After four preseason games, he was slated to be cut, but was instead traded to the expansion Seattle Seahawks for a 1977 eighth-round pick.
Largent spent 14 years with the Seahawks, and, while not particularly fast, was extremely sure-handed. He was selected to the NFL Pro Bowl seven times, and was the first Seahawk to earn that honor. In 1987, Largent ended his participation in the NFLPA strike after the third and final week of the strike, citing Christian principles, specifically based on Matthew 5:36–37, stating that "your word is your bond" and that all contracts shall be honored as with God.
When Largent retired, he held all major NFL receiving records, including: most receptions in a career (819), most receiving yards in a career (13,089), and most touchdown receptions (100). He was also in possession of a then-record streak of 177 consecutive regular-season games with a reception. He also holds the distinction as the first receiver in NFL history to achieve 100 touchdown receptions in his career.
Largent was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1995, his first year of eligibility. In 1999, he was ranked number 46 on The Sporting News list of the 100 Greatest Football Players, the only Seahawk on the list.
His number (80) was retired in 1992; Largent is the first Seahawk player to be so honored (the team has retired number 12 in honor of the fans, the "12th man", the number 71 for offensive tackle Walter Jones, on December 5, 2010, and the number 96 for defensive tackle Cortez Kennedy on October 14, 2012.) During Jerry Rice's stint with the Seahawks in 2004, Largent's number 80 was temporarily "unretired" after a conversation between Rice and Largent that was reportedly initiated by then Seahawks president Bob Whitsitt. Largent remains the most prolific receiver in team history. On October 26, 2008 Largent's University of Tulsa number (83) was also retired.
In 1994, Oklahoma's 1st District Congressman Jim Inhofe resigned to run in a special election to succeed Senator David Boren. Largent won the election to succeed Inhofe in Congress; pursuant to an Oklahoma statute, Governor David Walters designated the special election in which Largent was elected to serve the remainder of Inhofe's term in the 103rd Congress before beginning his term in the 104th Congress.
Largent took office on November 29, 1994 and was reelected to the three succeeding Congresses, never winning less than 60 percent of the vote in the heavily Republican Tulsa-based district.
Like many in the Republican freshman class elected in 1994, when the Republicans took control of the House for the first time in 40 years, Largent's voting record was solidly conservative. Largent was one of the "true believers" in that freshman class, devoting most of his time to issues important to the conservative Christians.
One of his first bills was a "parental rights" bill that died in committee after it attracted opposition even from other Christian conservatives. Another of his bills would have abolished the federal tax code at the end of 2001. He opposed ending the 1995 federal government shutdown and played a role in the failed attempt to oust Newt Gingrich as Speaker. Largent introduced a bill that would ban adoptions by gay and lesbian parents in Washington, D.C.
After the Republicans lost 5 seats in the 1998 midterm elections, Largent tried to take advantage of discontent with Majority Leader Dick Armey by challenging Armey for the post. Although Armey was not popular in the Republican caucus, Largent was thought to be far too conservative for the liking of some moderate Republicans, and Armey won on the third ballot. However, when Bob Livingston of Louisiana stood down as Speaker-elect, Armey was still too wounded to make a bid for the job.
Largent decided to run for Governor of Oklahoma in 2002. He easily won the Republican nomination and resigned his House seat on February 15 to devote his energy to the race. Initially seen as an overwhelming favorite against Democratic state senator Brad Henry, Largent lost to Henry by just under 7,000 votes.
Largent's loss has been attributed by analysts to factors that included:
Largent became President and CEO of CTIA-The Wireless Association in November 2003 until May 2014. CTIA is an international nonprofit membership organization founded in 1984, representing all sectors of wireless communications: cellular, personal communication services and enhanced specialized mobile radio.
|1994||Stuart Price||63,753||37%||Steve Largent||107,085||63%|
|1996||Randolph John Amen||57,996||28%||Steve Largent||143,415||68%||Karla Condray||Independent||8,996||4%|
|1998||Howard Plowman||56,309||38%||Steve Largent||91,031||62%|
|2000||Dan Lowe||58,493||29%||Steve Largent||138,528||69%||Michael A. Clem||Libertarian||2,984||1%|
|Brad Henry||Democratic Party||448,143||43.27%|
|Steve Largent||Republican Party||441,277||42.61%|
|Source: 2002 Election Results|
|United States House of Representatives|
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Oklahoma's 1st congressional district
|Party political offices|
|Republican nominee for Governor of Oklahoma