Troy Aumua Polamalu

The Cardinal celebrates Asian Pacific American Heritage Month!


Jeorge Morales, Staff Writer

Troy Aumua Polamalu was born Troy Benjamin Aumua April 19, 1981, and is a former American football strong safety who played his entire 12-year career for the Pittsburgh Steelers of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football for the University of Southern California (USC) and earned consensus All-American honors. He was chosen by the Steelers in the first round of the 2003 NFL Draft. He was a member of two Steelers’ Super Bowl championship teams and was the NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2010. Polamalu is an eight-time Pro Bowler and a six-time All-Pro selection. He was also the Head of Player Relations of the Alliance of American Football. Considered a “premier safety of his era” and known for his “range, explosiveness, and impact on the field,” Polamalu was inducted into the Pro Football Hall Of Fame in 2020, his first year of eligibility.

Polamalu was born in Garden Grove, California. His mother is Suila Polamalu. Polamalu is of American Samoan descent. He is the youngest of five children. His father left the family soon after Polamalu was born. Polamalu spent his early years in Santa Ana, California. At age eight, Polamalu vacationed in Tenmile, Oregon with his aunt and uncle for three weeks; afterwards, he begged his mother to let him live in Oregon. Concerned about the negative influences in nearby Los Angeles, Polamalu’s mother sent him to Oregon to live with his uncle (Salu Polamalu), his aunt, and his cousins when he was nine years old. Polamalu has said that his uncle is “a disciplinarian and kept me straight.”