Jim Plunket was born in Santa Clara California to two blind parents from New Mexico. As his parent struggled to make ends meet with him and two sisters at home, Jim began working from a very early age to help alleviate the family’s finances. Plunket earned his way on to the Stanford football team but his coach tried hard to move him to defense. In 1968 he earned his spot as the starting quarterback and would change the way Stanford and the PAC 8 would run their offenses. His college career would end with a Rose Bowl win against the Ohio Buckeyes in 1970. Plunket had an arm the Buckeyes could not handle.
The New England Patriots took him in the first round. After a couple seasons with the 49ers he would spend the last 9 years of his career with the Raiders. With the Raiders they would win 2 Super Bowls and he would be the MVP of Super Bowl XV against the Philadelphia Eagles.
Both of his parents are Hispanic and his mother was part Native American.