Owens was born in Columbus, Ohio, and grew up in a Baptist household in Tallahassee, Fla., where he was integrated onto an all-white football team in the 1960s amid the civil rights movement.
After graduating from Miami with a degree in biology and chemistry, Owens played in the NFL as a safety for the New York Jets and the Oakland Raiders between 1973 and 1982.
Mike Guman #44 of the Los Angeles Rams gets tackled by Howie Long #75 and Burgess Owens #44 of the Los Angeles Raiders during an NFL football game, Dec. 18, 1982. (Focus on Sport/Getty Images)
Owens has traveled across the country working odd jobs since retiring from his football career but made his way to Utah in 2012 when he founded Second Chance 4 Youth, "a Utah based non-profit organization dedicated to helping troubled an[d] incarcerated youth," Owens' campaign website reads.
Burgess was married for 34 years before getting a divorce and has six children with his estranged wife, Josie, according to his website. He also survived prostate cancer.
In a July profile for the Salt Lake Tribune, Owens said he has ''always been a conservative" but previously voted "as a Democrat because we would talk [about how] that was the party in our favor."
The former football star is a contributor for Fox News and supporter of policies that aim to support the working middle class. Owens' political interests range from protecting the Second Amendment and supporting pro-life legislation to lowering the cost of higher education, lowering taxes and adding jobs in Utah.
He has also expressed opposition to football players kneeling during the national anthem.