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Matt James, the charismatic and engaging star of ABC’s hit romance reality series “The Bachelor,” is handing out the roses for its momentous 25th season. After meeting Matt as a prospective suitor for “The Bachelorette,” Bachelor Nation swooned when they learned he would take on the role as the lead of his own love story. Matt is the total package with strong family values and a great career, who has used his growing platform for good.

The North Carolina native went to Wake Forest University, where he majored in economics and played wide receiver for the football team. He went on to play professional football before moving to New York City, where he now resides. His love of food and passion for giving back led to his creation of an organization that is designed to find creative ways to engage kids from underserved communities in New York City, encouraging physical and mental wellness while also giving them opportunities for new experiences throughout the city.

Although Matt hasn’t been in love before, he feels he is ready now to welcome it into his life — no matter what challenges he will face — as he starts his search for his happily ever after on “The Bachelor.”