Darren Waller’s Father Dorian Waller Helped Him Battle Addiction

By AustinPublished on: February 11, 2024 Updated on: February 12, 2024
Birthday September 11,
Birthplace Jamaica, Queens
Son Darren Waller
Table of Content Show

Dorian Waller is the father of the American football player Darren Waller. Mr. Waller comes from a long-living legacy and has ensured his son lives up to it. Well, he has enjoyed quite an intriguing life. From igniting Darren’s passion for football to helping him battle his addiction, Dorian has always been there for his kid.

Learn about Dorian’s life and his contribution to shaping Darren’s life and career.

Dorian Waller Is The Grandson of Fats Waller

Darren’s father is the grandchild of the American jazz and piano legend Thomas Wright “Fats” Waller. Dorian is from Jamaica, Queens. He celebrates his birthday every year on September 11.

Mr. Waller has followed a path diverse from that of his renowned grandfather. However, his son, Darren, has shown some interest in music. In fact, he is also pursuing music professionally and has released a 13-track album.

Darren Waller's father, Dorian Waller, is the grandson of Fats Waller
Dorian is the grandson of Fats Waller.

Besides, Dorian never met the man himself. Everything he knew about Thomas was things his grandmother told him.

Dorian Waller’s Career In The IT

Darren’s dad has a degree of Bachelor of Science in Management Information Systems from Pace University-Pleasantville/Briarcliff Campus. He attended the university from 1977 to 1981. Currently, Dorian is the Senior Programmer Analyst at Verizon Wireless. He has been with the company since September 2012.

Previously, he worked at Tata Consultancy Services as a Teradata Developer from May 2010 to September 2012.

Before that, Dorian was a Solutions Delivery Specialist at The Coca-Cola Company. He worked there for 11 years and a month, from December 1998 to December 2009.

Dorian Has Been Married For Over Four Decades

Alongside a progressing career, Dorian is enjoying his blissful marital life. He tied the knot with his wife, Charlena Waller, in the 1980s. They have been together for 44 years now. Together, the pair has moved around a lot. They had their son when they lived in Landover, Md.

Then, they relocated to Colorado Springs before finally settling down in Atlanta. Darren was four years old then.

The husband-wife duo has been through a lot together. Through every challenge, the couple has emerged stronger than ever. Getting married for over four decades must have been challenging, but the two make it look so easy.

The Senior Waller Is a Parent to Two

In their years of togetherness, Dorian and Charlene have welcomed two children. Apart from Darren, they have a daughter named Deanna Waller.

Deanna is 13 months older than her brother. She is an exceptional piano artist like her sibling. While the passion for music skipped Dorian, his kids inherited the family’s musical genes.

Well, the athlete likely does not need an introduction, so let’s get into Deanna’s life. She attended the University of Georgia, where she graduated in 2014. According to her Facebook, she works at Medtronic and the University of Arkansas.

In addition, Deanna is married to Terry Prentice now and lives with him in Fayetteville, Arkansas. The father and daughter are close, as she posts a lot of pictures with Dorian.

Dorian Waller is the father of two
Dorian with his family.

Dorian Waller’s Struggles During His Son’s Drug Addiction

Darren’s problem with drugs is not a secret to NFL fans. However, you might not know much about everything the family went through. Both Dorian and Charlene’s family had drug problems, so they had already seen the signs. They could sense it in his voice during calls.

Darren’s parents had offered their help, which he had rejected. Dorian talked about the effect the addiction had on his life. He said,

It was something I thought about every day. It affected my everyday life. We kind of want to do something as parents, but it gets to a point where you’re almost handcuffed.

Besides, Darren had started failing NFL drug tests, one after another. The father-mother duo would get notified by the league via FedEx envelopes. It had reached the point where Dorian was afraid of the sound of a delivery truck, thinking what it might bring this time.

Road To Recovery

The addiction had gotten worse, and the NFL even suspended Waller; first for four games on July 1, 2016, and then on June 30, 2017, for a year without pay.

Waller had finally decided it was time for him to change his life around. A day after his 25th birthday, he had checked into Boston Hospital and began a four-day detox. With the help of the NFL, Darren went to the Borden Cottage in Camden, Maine. He wanted to get better.

While talking about his son, Dorian said,

A lot of people go kicking and screaming to a place like that, but he was serious about it. He knew he was at a crossroad and he embraced it. Every time I talked to him from there, I could hear the growth.

As hard as it was for a father, he was glad to see him win the battle against drugs. It improved Darren’s relationship with the family. After just a month in rehab, he had returned to his parent’s house and was attending recovery meetings and working on an $11-per-hour job. Darren was fitting in so well that he would even forget to pick up his paycheck.

Darren Waller's father, Dorian Waller, always had his back
The adorable Waller family.

Finally, after months of struggles, their son was back to them. Dorian was able to see the goofy, fun side of his son. It was quite the journey for the football star’s father. Darren is in a good place now, and the light in his eyes has returned.

His Relationship With Darren

The father-son duo are extremely close. Through all of life’s battles, Dorian has always been there for his kid. Darren has also recognized the support he has received from his old man. The tight end appreciates what both his parents, particularly his dad, have done for him. He told the New York Post,

They’ve always been there for me. My dad has always seen greatness for me, not only in football but in anything that I ever tried. It means a lot now honoring our family name in a much better way now,

Dorian Was Over The Moon When the Giants Selected His Son

Darren was traded to the New York Giants in March 2023. The trade could not have made the footballer’s father happier. In Darren’s words, his father was “over the moon.” Dorian has been a Giants fan for long. Growing up, the pair used to watch their games. As a result, he knew every bit of the team’s history.

Presently, Mr. Waller lives in Acworth, Georgia, and his presence in his son’s life is invaluable.