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Reggie Fowler

Tried Out For Bengals

Though Fowler led the University of Wyoming Cowboys in unassisted tackles during his senior year, the changes in his position likely harmed his prospects with the NFL, and he was not drafted. Several months after his December, 1981, graduation, however, he was able to join the Cincinnati Bengals' pre-season training camp, but was cut before the regular season started. He was also on the roster for a short-lived United States Football Team in Arizona in 1983, but played no games with the Wranglers. Returning to school, he took business courses at Arizona State University in the mid-1980s and joined a training program with Mobil Oil's chemical division. He worked in sales for the company before striking out on his own in 1989.

Fowler founded his firm, Spiral Inc., originally as a company that sold the food containers used by grocery stores—the plastic tubs at the deli counters, for example, and the foam trays used in meat packaging. He named the company after a football term that players use to describe the perfectly thrown pass, and his initial investment in it was allegedly just $1,000. The company, which was based in Chandler, Arizona, expanded over the years to include several other divisions, including real-estate development and an aviation-simulator business. Fowler went on to own a cattle ranch as well as a financial institution, the Bank of the Southwest, and he and Spiral, Inc., made their first appearance on the annual Black Enterprise rankings list of the top African-American-owned companies in 1993 as No. 98 in the Industrial/Service sector. Six years later, it had jumped to the No. 22 spot, and was at No. 11 in 2004, after posting previous-year sales of $314 million. The Arizona Republic newspaper estimated Fowler's net worth at around $400 million by then.

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Brief BiographiesBiographies: Trevor Edwards Biography - Accepted Wisdom from His Mother to Francisco Franco (1892–1975) BiographyReggie Fowler - Tried Out For Bengals, Met The Press, Admitted Errors In Biography, Black Coaches Voted Their Approval