Patrick Daniel "Pat" Tillman Jr. (November 6, 1976 – April 22, 2004) was an American football player who left his professional career and enlisted in the United States Army in June 2002 in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001, attacks. He joined the Army Rangers and served several tours in combat before he died in the mountains of Afghanistan. The Army at first reported that Tillman had been killed by enemy fire, and Lieutenant General Stanley A. McChrystal approved the award of a Silver Star. The actual cause of Tillman's death was later revealed to be from friendly fire.
Tillman was born on November 6, 1976, in Fremont, California. The oldest of three sons, Tillman excelled at football in high school. He helped lead Leland High School to the Central Coast Division I Football Championship. Tillman then went to Arizona State University (ASU) on a scholarship.
Tillman was very close to his family and high school friends. He repeatedly mentioned in his personal journals during wartime service that he drew strength from and deeply valued his closest friendships, parents, wife and family. Tillman was very committed to his high-school sweetheart whom he married just prior to enlistment in the Army Rangers, Marie Ugenti Tillman. He also was very close with his brother, Kevin Tillman, who enlisted with and served alongside Pat. Marie Tillman is currently chair of the Pat Tillman Foundation, an organization providing resources and educational scholarship support to veterans, active service members and their dependents.