Don King is a boxing promoter and a businessman who has been known for his association in several historic boxing matchups.
In his fame, there was a time where he has been a controversial icon, where he was slightly involved in a manslaughter conviction which was then later pardoned and with some civil cases filed against him.
He has also been charged with the death of a person in 1954, he shot the person in the back after seeing him trying to steal in one of his gamble houses. The incident was then ruled out as a justifiable homicide.
Nevertheless, his career as a boxing promoter has highlighted several works in the enterprise including “The Rumble in the Jungle”, the world heavyweight championship match of George Foreman and Muhammad Ali in Kinshasa, Zaire.
This had an attendance of 60,000 people and “Thrilla in Manila”, which was the third and final match in boxing of Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier hosted in Quezon City, Philippines with a television viewing global record of 1 billion views.
Don King is one of the most influential people in boxing and community, let us get to know him more by learning about his personal life, career, achievements, and net worth.
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 Early Life
Don King was born on August 20, 1931, in Cleveland, Ohio, United States. He had his education at John Adams High and graduated in 1951.
He took his college education at Kent State University where he dropped out and operated an illegal bookmaking operation at a record store basement on Kinsman Road.
This follows then the charges of killing two men in 1954 and 1967, he was convicted with second-degree murder in the 1967 incident and was found guilty, serve a term in Marion Correctional Institute and was then pardoned in 1983 by the Ohio Governor through letters of a petition from his supporters.
Don King was married to Henrietta King, who died on December 2, 2010. They have a daughter named Deborah King and two adopted sons named Carl and Eric. He also has five grandchildren.
He became active in politics and has supported Barack Obama’s presidential elections in 2008 and 2012. He made a media appearance as well to promote George W. Bush and has attendance in the Republican National Convention of 2004 in New York City.
He was an affiliate of the Freemasons on June 10, 1987, where he was invited and accepted through a Mason-on-Sight by the Grand Master of Most Worship Hall Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Ohio, Odes J. Kyle, Jr.
Part of his philanthropy activities is to have an annual giveaway of two thousand free turkeys during Christmas and this has been going on for several years. This project was for the needy people in South Florida.
Don King Early Career
Don King started his career in the boxing world when he convinced Mohammad Ali to an exhibition box for a charity that he and singer Lloyd Price had set up in a local hospital in Cleveland.
He then formed a partnership with an experienced promoter, Don Elbaum in Cleveland who already had stable fighters under him.
The highlight of his early career was in 1974 when he negotiated and promoted the world heavyweight championship match between George Foreman and Muhammad Ali that was now, very known as, “The Rumble in the Jungle” that was hosted in Zaire.
Apart from his boxing promoter career, he is also a concert promoter. He has organized concerts for The Jackson in 1984 with their Victory Tour.
He also purchased a local weekly newspaper enterprise based in Cleveland to serve the community of African-Americans known as “Call and Post”, and as of 2011, he continued as the company’s publisher.
Rising to Stardom
In 1975, just a year after the fight in Zaire, he made his impact and secured himself as one of the prominent promoters by organizing the third fight of Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier in Manila, Philippines, which was then known as “Thrilla in Manila”.
With the success of the fight in the Philippines, he has continued his career for two decades and was known throughout the boxing community.
In the first decade, he compiled an outstanding line up of fighters and many of these boxers have landed their boxing career in the Hall of Fame.
These fighters are Roberto Duran, Salvador Sanchez, and Alexis Arguello, who have all fought in his 1970s promotional banner called Don King Productions.
He has worked in promoting fights with famous boxers such as Evander Holyfield, Marco Antonio Barrera, Mike Tyson, Aaron Pryor, Julio Chavez, Felix Trinidad, Ricardo Lopez, Bernard Hopkins, Mike McCallum, and Azumah Nelson, just to name a few.
Many of these famous boxers as well are the ones who chose Don King to promote their title and biggest fights.
Don King Awards and Honors
In 1988, Don King was given an honorary award from the Central State University, Wilberforce, Ohio, for Doctorate of Humane Letters degree by the University President, Dr. Arthur E. Thomas.
All throughout his career as a boxing promoter, he has received recognition as International Boxing Hall of Fame inductee in 1997 and Gaming Hall of Fame inductee in 2008.
He was acknowledged by the Cleveland community by renaming the Cleveland Shaker Boulevard to Don King Way.
Don King’s Total Net Worth
Don King was one of the most successful and famous boxing promoters during his time. He was constant in the news headline for his unique image, controversies, and career success. With his career, he has worked with some of the biggest boxing legends.
He has a total net worth of $150 million US dollars through his career as a boxing promoter, businessman, and actor.