Many fans of American football and music have wondered if Thomas Rawls, the former running back for the Seattle Seahawks, is related to Lou Rawls, the legendary soul singer. The two share the same last name and both have roots in Chicago, Illinois. But are they really family? The answer is no. Thomas Rawls and Lou Rawls are not related by blood or marriage.
How Do We Know They Are Not Related?
According to Wikipedia, Thomas Rawls was born on August 3, 1993, in Flint, Michigan. His father abandoned his family and he was raised by his grandmother. He attended Flint Northern High School, where he was a star running back and broke a record set by Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram II. He played college football at Michigan and Central Michigan before signing with the Seattle Seahawks as an undrafted free agent in 2015. He currently holds the Seahawks’ record for the most single game rushing yards by a rookie running back (209) and the most rushing yards by an undrafted rookie in his first six games (711). He also holds the Seahawks’ record for most yards in a postseason game (161), accomplished in the 2016–17 Wild Card Round against the Detroit Lions.
Lou Rawls, on the other hand, was born on December 1, 1933, in Chicago, Illinois. His father also left his family and he was raised by his grandmother. He began singing in a Baptist church choir at the age of seven and later performed with Sam Cooke in the gospel group Teenage Kings of Harmony. He graduated from Dunbar Vocational High School and joined the touring gospel singing group Pilgrim Travelers. He served in the US Army as a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne Division and survived a car crash that killed one and left him in a coma for five and a half days. He signed with Capitol Records in 1962 and became a successful soul, jazz, and blues singer. He released more than 60 albums, sold more than 40 million records, and had numerous charting singles, most notably his song “You’ll Never Find Another Love like Mine”. He won three Grammy Awards for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance and worked as a film, television, and voice actor. He died on January 6, 2006, from lung cancer.
As you can see, Thomas Rawls and Lou Rawls have very different life stories and backgrounds. There is no evidence that they are related in any way. They do not share any common ancestors or relatives that we know of. They do not even look alike, as Thomas Rawls is much taller and heavier than Lou Rawls was.
Why Do People Think They Are Related?
The rumor that Thomas Rawls and Lou Rawls are related probably started because of their shared surname and hometown. Rawls is not a very common last name in the United States. According to Ancestry.com, it is derived from an Old English word meaning “counsel” or “advice”. It is mostly found in England and Wales, but also has some presence in Ireland and Scotland. In the US, it is most prevalent in Texas, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia.
Chicago is also a large and diverse city with many famous people from different fields and backgrounds. It is possible that some people assumed that Thomas Rawls and Lou Rawls were from the same family because they both came from Chicago and achieved fame in their respective careers. However, this is not a valid reason to conclude that they are related. Chicago has a population of over 2.7 million people, so it is not surprising that there are many unrelated people with the same or similar names living there.
Thomas Rawls and Lou Rawls are not related by blood or marriage. They have different life stories and backgrounds. They do not share any common ancestors or relatives that we know of. They do not even look alike. The rumor that they are related probably started because of their shared surname and hometown, but this is not a valid reason to conclude that they are related. They are both talented individuals who have made their mark in American football and music, but they are not family.
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