Who is Raunda Williams? Facts about the Wife of NFL Legend Doug Williams

Doug Williams etched his name in football lore forever when he became the first African American quarterback to lead his team to a Super Bowl victory, claiming the title with the Washington Redskins in 1988’s unforgettable Super Bowl XXII.

While Williams recently passed away at age 73 following a battle with cancer, he leaves behind his wife of over 30 years – Raunda Williams

.As the world mourns Williams and celebrates his barrier-breaking Hall of Fame career under center, his widow Raunda Williams also deserves recognition for her decades of support in Williams’ incredible journey.

Who is Raunda Williams?

  • Wife of Washington Redskins Super Bowl-winning quarterback Doug Williams
  • Mother of Williams’ four children – daughters Ashley, Lakatriona, Adrian and son Douglas Jr.
  • Originally named Raunda Lurene Cawthon when born in Louisiana in early 1960s
  • Met Williams as a fellow student at Grambling State University in the 1970s
  • Married Williams in November 1983 as he started his NFL playing career
  • Remained married for nearly 40 years until Williams’ passing in 2023
  • Largely avoided spotlight herself despite husband’s fame
  • Focused on raising family and supporting Williams’ ups/downs

While the wife of a star athlete often gains public attention herself, Raunda Williams maintained privacy for close to 40 years of marriage – allowing the focus to remain on her iconic husband. 

She instead served as the foundation upholding their family as Doug Williams himself cemented his status as an all-time great NFL talent.

Early Life and Meeting Doug Williams

Early Life and Meeting Doug Williams

Born as Raunda Lurene Cawthon in Louisiana in the early 1960s, Raunda first crossed paths with her eventual husband Doug Williams when both attended Grambling State University in the late 1970s.

While quarterback Doug Williams launched toward stardom under Grambling head coach Eddie Robinson – one of the greatest college coaches in football history – Raunda played on the women’s basketball team, also on an athletic scholarship.

Their shared experiences as both standout athletes and African American students competing during a pivotal era connected the future couple. 

As Doug completed a historic tenure as Grambling State’s starting QB and became a first round NFL Draft selection, Raunda Cawthon completed her basketball career and her own degree in computer science.

After several years of long-distance dating between Louisiana and Doug’s NFL home in Tampa Bay, the two married in November 1983 in Raunda’s home state.

Supporting an NFL Career

Raunda took on the key supporting role as Doug Williams ascended in fame during his professional football career

After stints living in Tampa and Washington DC due to Doug’s playing career, they eventually settled back home in Louisiana to raise their family of four children:

  • Daughter Ashley Williams – born 1985
  • Son Adrian Williams – born 1987
  • Son Douglas Williams Jr. – born 1992
  • Daughter Lakatriona Williams – born 1993

Even as Doug Williams made history as the first black quarterback to claim a Super Bowl victory with the underdog Washington Redskins at 1988’s Super Bowl XXII against John Elway’s Denver Broncos, Raunda maintained the privacy and normalcy of their family life.

Doug was named the game’s MVP after a historic performance, but his pending fatherhood that year with son Douglas Jr. gave him perspective amidst his football celebrity whirlwind.

Setbacks and Perseverance

Raunda remained the foundation upholding the Williams family even during times of challenge and change for the legendary athlete.

After struggling with injuries including undergoing major back surgery, Doug suddenly retired in 1989 at just 33 years old – forgoing additional lucrative contracts at his peak. 

Business ventures did not pan out, finances dwindled without football income, and coaching jobs proved hard to come by for several frustrating years marred by racial biases as well as Williams’ own demons with painkiller addiction during two seasons coaching at Morehouse College.

But with Raunda’s steady support compared by Doug to a “drill sergeant”, Williams eventually regained his place on coaching staffs for colleges like Navy and back in the NFL with the Jacksonville Jaguars before returning to Washington in an executive front office role. 

There, Williams assembled a Super Bowl LIII winning squad in 2021 as a crowning culmination of his redemption.

Life Today & Lasting Legacy

Life Today & Lasting Legacy

Today, Raunda Williams – estimated to be around 60 years old as of 2023 – presses on even after her husband Doug’s death to cancer in February 2023.

Alongside their four children and an ever-growing list of grandchildren, Raunda Williams carries her late husband’s memory as he is newly enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

While Raunda values her privacy too much to grant interviews or make public appearances, her unwavering lifetime support empowered national icon Doug Williams to shatter barriers for African American players. 

And Williams’ own tributes make clear that none of it would have been possible without Raunda.

Doug and Raunda’s enduring love conquered unimaginable obstacles over a 40 year partnership. 

And in the wake of Williams’ tragic cancer affliction limiting their twilight years together, Raunda Williams now takes comfort in her husband’s eternally-sealed place among gridiron’s greats – cementing his legacy as a game-changing Grambling State legend and Washington Redskins 

Super Bowl MVP.

While Raunda Williams’ own name may not end up memorialized on any Hall of Fame plaques or have trophies bearing her image, every tribute to her late husband Doug’s barrier-breaking career now ensures she is forever immortalized all the same.

  • Who is Doug Williams’ wife?
    • Doug Williams was married for almost 40 years to wife Raunda Williams (nee Cawthon) until the legendary player’s death from cancer in 2023.
  • What are some top facts about Doug Williams?
    • Doug Williams won Super Bowl XXII with the Washington Redskins as the first black QB to claim the title; was 1988 Super Bowl MVP; played 9 record-setting seasons as QB for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Washington franchise.
  • How did Doug Williams’ wife pass away?
    • Doug Williams himself died in February 2023 at the age of 73 after battling cancer; his wife Raunda survives him along with their four children.
  • Does NFL great Doug Williams have any children?
  • Yes, legendary quarterback Doug Williams and wife Raunda had four children together during his playing career and afterward – three daughters named Ashley, Lakatriona, Adrian, and one son, Douglas Williams, Jr., born between 1985 and 1993.

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