When the Ravens visited the White House in 2001 after their Super Bowl victory, Ogden greeted the president wearing blue jeans.
"Jonathan is very comfortable with himself," said Rick Hyde, his attorney. "He's not interested in impressing you or me."
By his count, Ogden read five novels and worked hundreds of crossword puzzles last season.
"He says he enjoys reading books. I don't understand that," said Edwin Mulitalo, a former Raven who played with Ogden for eight years. "As offensive linemen, we are one of [football's] smarter groups, but some of Jonathan's books are pretty big."
Big books. Big (size 16) feet. And a noggin so large that his high school football helmet had to be custom-made.
"He is more than just the big body you see," said Ogden's grandmother, Margie Sneed. "Within that big head, there are enormous good brains."
It's a rich gene pool. Ogden's late father, Shirrel, was a Washington investment banker; his mother, Cassandra, runs a nonprofit firm that helps low-income students segue into law school.
Ogden has a bevy of business interests, including a remodeling company in Baltimore and both a real estate development firm and a new kick-boxing gym in Las Vegas. He created the Jonathan Ogden Foundation, which helps schoolkids in both of those cities. Last spring, he teamed with his brother, Marques, to start the Ogden Brothers Welcome Home Foundation, a nonprofit to help Baltimore ex-convicts adjust to life on the outside.
A self-aggrandizing superstar, he is not.
"Jonathan knows the status - and the responsibility - that's attached to his name," Flynn said.
"Being a great sports figure doesn't make you better than other people," Ogden said. "It just makes you better known."
Part of that fame came from being a star on the Ravens' Super Bowl team during the 2000 season. In the week leading up to the championship in Tampa, Fla., Ogden gave his teammates another story to tell.
He promised to buy steak dinners for the rest of the offensive line, then reneged on the deal during the meal. The reason? They razzed Ogden for having sent his tough steak back to the kitchen.
"He thought he was getting too much [stuff] from the guys, so he skipped out of paying for supper," Mulitalo said.
To this day, Ogden defends the move.
"My steak was terrible, I was distraught and my teammates were giving me a lot of stuff," he said.
"I offer to buy dinner so seldom that they should know they can't give me no smack," he said. "Not if the money is coming out of my pocket."
Spending some, too
Ogden can be generous. Last year, he lent his high school football coach $200,000 to open a restaurant in Waterloo, Va.