Iпside the covert family lives of Travis aпd Jasoп Kelce, which iпclυdes their workiпg-class origiпs aпd welcome Taylor Swift iп

The NFL stars’ grandfathers both had rich and varied lives

JASON Kelce brought the NFL world to tears with his hugely emotional retirement speech last week.

And one of the Philadelphia Eagles star’s most moving lines came when the NFL icon said that he and his brother Travis come from “a small family.”


10Jason Kelce (right) and his brother TravisCredit: Getty

10Jason and his wife Kylie with two of their three daughtersCredit: Instagram/@kykelce

10Jason stands next to his mother Donna, with Travis’s girlfriend Taylor Swift in frontCredit: Getty

10Travis and his dad Ed at Jason’s retirement press conferenceCredit: Getty

“No cousins, one aunt, one uncle – it was really my brother and I our whole lives,” Jason said.

“We did almost everything together: competed, fought, laughed, cried, and learned from each other.”

The Kelce clan, led by mom Donna and dad Ed, is certainly small in number.

But it is full of an interesting cast of characters who have embraced fame, fortune – and pop megastar Taylor Swift.

Here is a look at the extended family clan from a “narcissist” grandfather who was arrested on industrial espionage charges, to another granddad who was given a Purple Heart for his services in World War II.


The most interesting member of the Kelce family is arguably Donna’s father Donald Blalock.

A football star at Ohio University, he was once arrested – but never charged – on a count of industrial espionage.

10Donna’s father Donald BlalockCredit: Family Handout

10Donald named two of his children after himself – Don (far left) and DonnaCredit: Instagram/killatrav

Donald also used the alias Bob Steele, had several wives and named two of his children after himself.

He even left one family in Ohio to start another in South Dakota.

“He cheated on just about every wife he had,” Jason told the Washington Post.

“I think he had five of them, so he had plenty of opportunities.”

Donald worked for 20 years for an equipment manufacturing company, including many years in the Soviet Union during the Cold War.

While overseas, he met and married a Russian woman – one of his many wives.

Donald decided to go out on his own and started his own company.

But he was accused of stealing blueprints to make parts and sell them at a reduced rate.

On December 8, 1981, sheriffs raided Blalock’s condo in Ohio and served him with an arrest warrant.

Donald eventually pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor offense of receiving stolen property valued at less than $150.

“He was not the best grandfather,” Jason said.

“He wasn’t the best dad. His own uncle for a long time didn’t talk to him.

“But he was a great grandfather at the perfect moment.”

That moment came when Donald gave Jason huge inspiration on his path to becoming a professional football player by giving him a card with a quote attributed to US president Calvin Coolidge.

It read, “Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent.

“Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts.

Travis Kelce breaks down in floods of tears as NFL star gets emotional on New Heights podcast over Jason’s retirement

“Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan ‘Press On!’ has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.”

Jason carried the card in his wallet for many years before he lost it in college.

“That quote really hit me in the face. It’s not over until you say it’s over,” he said.

“A lot of times, the people who end up making it are the people who just stick with it and have the perseverance to make it through adversity.”

Donald, who also had a son named Jason, died in 2018 at 87.


Don Blalock is the brother of the Kelces’ mom Donna and the son of Donald Blalock.

Donna accused her dad of being a “narcissist” for naming two of his children after himself.

10Travis and his uncle DonCredit: Instagram/killatrav

10Don was a football star at Purdue UniversityCredit: Instagram/killatrav

“He named me Donna and he named his son Don so he’s got both his kids named after him, so there you go,” Donna said on an episode of New Heights.

Don was a football player himself, having played defensive tackle for Purdue in 1976-77.

He graduated with two degrees from Purdue, before going on to have a lengthy career in IT.

Don is now freelance geographic information systems analyst based in Palm Beach, Florida, per his LinkedIn profile.

Travis has posted a number of photos in recent years hanging out with his uncle.

“Eatin’ good with my uncle! Never a dull moment when I’m with family!” he said in 2015.


Jason and Travis come from a military family, with their paternal grandfather Willis Kelce a decorated soldier in World War II.

Willis, who was known as Bill, won a Purple Heart for his efforts in the War – including being shot down three times in a plane.

10Sergeant Willis Gerald KelceCredit: Family Handout

10Travis was known as ‘Little Bill’ as a baby due to his likeness to WillisCredit: Instagram/papakelce

“[Willis] was on the planes – some of the bombers and everything – that were overseas,” Jason recalled on New Heights.

“His plane was shot down three times. That’s right ladies and gentlemen, his plane was shot down three times.

“The first time it was shot down, he jumped out of the plane with the rest of his crew and they parachuted to safety.

“The second time it got shot down, he refused to jump and was so terrified of jumping out of the plane again that one of his crew-members had to grab him and throw him out of the plane.”

The third time his plane was shot, Willis decided to go down with the plane.

“Somehow they landed that sucker. If that’s not a Kelce move, I don’t know what is,” Jason added.

Such was the resemblance between baby Travis and Willis that dad Ed recalled that “Mom would refer to Travis as ‘Little Bill’.”

Jason then asked his dad, “Did [grandpa] get the Purple Heart in the plane or jumping out?”

Ed laughed and responded, “He got the Purple Heart for getting shot in the a**.

“I think he got it in the plane. He also got shot in the arm. I don’t know if he got a second Purple Heart out of it.

“I’ve got the medal. There may be two, but one may be Uncle Ed’s.”

Willis died in 1975 agt 55, many years before Jason and Travis were born.


Little is known about Aunt Judy, who is the sister of the Kelces’ dad Ed.

But Jason revealed that she would be his “dream guest” for his popular podcast New Heights.

Jason was asked by NBC Sports who his top-choice guest would be.

“I can’t say Taylor Swift. Come on, it’s too obvious. Travis would kill me,” Jason said.

He paused for a while before adding, ‘I’ll go my Aunt Judy, we’ve got to get my Aunt Judy on the podcast!’

When the Kansas City Chiefs won Super Bowl 54 in 2020, Travis took time to thank his aunt.

“Aunt Judy, I love you, girl!” he said.

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