Celebrity Name: Don King
Full Name: Donald King
Birthday: August 20, 1931
Place of Origin: Cleveland, Ohio, United States
Sexual Orientation: Straight Male
Wife: Henrietta King (Deceased)
Profession: Boxing Promoter
Total Net Worth: $150 million US dollar
Don King is an esteemed pugilistic impresario and a shrewd entrepreneur renowned for his involvement in several momentous pugilistic spectacles.
In the zenith of his fame, he became a controversial luminary due to his tangential implication in a manslaughter conviction, which was subsequently pardoned, and the litigious pursuit of civil cases against him.
Moreover, in 1954, he was implicated in a fatal incident where, upon witnessing an attempt at pilferage in one of his gambling establishments, he perpetrated a gunshot against the perpetrator’s back. The incident was eventually deemed a justifiable homicide.
Notwithstanding, his career as a boxing promoter has been punctuated by numerous seminal events within the domain, including “The Rumble in the Jungle,” the monumental world heavyweight championship bout featuring George Foreman and Muhammad Ali in Kinshasa, Zaire, which garnered a throng of 60,000 spectators. Another remarkable event was the “Thrilla in Manila,” the epic third and final encounter between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier, held in Quezon City, Philippines, and astoundingly viewed by a global television audience of 1 billion.
Don King stands as one of the most influential luminaries within the realm of pugilism and his community. To delve deeper into his persona, let us explore his personal life, career, accomplishments, and net worth.
Don King’s Early Life:
Born on August 20, 1931, in Cleveland, Ohio, United States, Don King received his education at John Adams High, culminating in his graduation in 1951. His academic pursuits led him to Kent State University, where he embarked on his collegiate journey, albeit discontinued, opting instead to establish an illicit bookmaking enterprise within the confines of a record store basement on Kinsman Road.
This venture was followed by legal entanglements stemming from the demise of two individuals in 1954 and 1967. In the latter incident, King was convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to serve time at the Marion Correctional Institute, only to receive a pardon in 1983, courtesy of the Ohio Governor, who heeded letters of petition from his ardent supporters.
Don King was united in marriage with Henrietta King, whose demise occurred on December 2, 2010. Their union brought forth a daughter named Deborah King, as well as two adopted sons, Carl and Eric. Furthermore, he revels in the affection of five grandchildren.
Don King’s foray into politics saw him actively supporting Barack Obama’s presidential campaigns in both 2008 and 2012. Additionally, he made media appearances advocating for George W. Bush and attended the Republican National Convention of 2004 in New York City.
Intriguingly, King embraced affiliation with the Freemasons on June 10, 1987, extending his presence into the esteemed ranks through a Mason-on-Sight invitation from the Grand Master of the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Ohio, Odes J. Kyle, Jr.
An embodiment of benevolence, Don King engaged in annual philanthropic endeavors, generously distributing two thousand free turkeys during the Christmas season to support those in need, particularly in South Florida. This noble tradition has persisted for numerous years.
Don King’s Early Career:
Emerging as a significant figure within the boxing domain, Don King embarked on his professional journey by persuading Mohammad Ali to participate in a charitable exhibition bout, organized in tandem with singer Lloyd Price, benefiting a local hospital in Cleveland.
Subsequently, he forged an alliance with seasoned promoter Don Elbaum in Cleveland, who already presided over a stable of accomplished pugilists.
The zenith of his early career manifested in 1974 when he orchestrated the groundbreaking world heavyweight championship clash between George Foreman and Muhammad Ali, now famously dubbed “The Rumble in the Jungle,” held in Zaire.
Beyond his vocation as a boxing promoter, King displayed a penchant for concert promotion, as evidenced by his orchestration of The Jacksons’ Victory Tour in 1984.
Furthermore, he ventured into media, acquiring a local weekly newspaper, “Call and Post,” serving the African-American community in Cleveland, a venture he continued as its publisher until 2011.
Rising to Stardom:
A mere year after the iconic Zaire fight, King cemented his prominence as a preeminent promoter by masterminding the historic third bout between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier in Manila, Philippines, fittingly dubbed “Thrilla in Manila.”
This triumph catapulted his career, and for two decades, he remained an esteemed figure within the pugilistic sphere. During the initial decade, King curated an illustrious roster of pugilists, many of whom would eventually find their rightful place in the Boxing Hall of Fame. Among them were the likes of Roberto Duran, Salvador Sanchez, and Alexis Arguello, all of whom fought under King’s banner, Don King Productions, during the 1970s.
He continued to promote high-profile clashes featuring renowned boxers, including Evander Holyfield, Marco Antonio Barrera, Mike Tyson, Aaron Pryor, Julio Chavez, Felix Trinidad, Ricardo Lopez, Bernard Hopkins, Mike McCallum, and Azumah Nelson, to name but a few.
Several of these esteemed pugilists entrusted Don King with the promotion of their title bouts and most significant contests.
Don King’s Awards and Honors:
In 1988, Don King received an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters degree from Central State University, Wilberforce, Ohio, presented by University President Dr. Arthur E. Thomas.
His illustrious career as a boxing promoter earned him prestigious inductions into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1997 and the Gaming Hall of Fame in 2008.
Locally, the Cleveland community honored him by renaming Cleveland Shaker Boulevard as “Don King Way.”
Don King’s Total Net Worth:
Throughout his time, Don King stood as one of the most successful and celebrated boxing promoters, continuously gracing news headlines with his distinctive persona, controversies, and professional accomplishments. Through his multifaceted career as a boxing promoter, entrepreneur, and actor, he amassed a considerable net worth of $150 million USD.
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