Deion Luwynn Sanders was born August 9, 1967, in Fort Myers, Florida. His parents, Connie and Mims Sanders, divorced when he was only two years old. Sanders was raised by his mother and her new husband, Willie Knight. Sanders admitted in an interview: "I grew up with my mother and stepfather, but my father was around".
Sanders' biological father and stepfather, both deceased, had addiction issues, making him more determined to be an excellent dad. Those rough circumstances also made his mother the driving force in his life.
"I had a goal and I wasn't going to stop until I achieved it. My main goal was to retire my mother, so she never had to work another day in her life once I went professional. ... You got to have something bigger than yourself, otherwise you're going to quit on yourself."
And although he says he had to "father" his own fathers, he doesn't play the victim.
"Life happens for a reason. You can't pick and choose who raised you. It propelled me to who I am today, so I'm thankful (for) the trials and tribulations, because it matured me and built me as the father I am."