George Foreman is an American retired professional boxer, entrepreneur, actor/media personality, writer and ordained minister.
A former two-time world heavyweight champion, Foreman is regarded as one of the world’s greatest boxers of all time.
George Foreman’s Early Life And Family Background
George Edward Foreman was born on January 10, 1949, in Marshall, Texas and raised in Fifth Ward, Houston alongside 6 siblings.
His parents are identified as J.D and Nancy Ree Foreman. In time George found out J.D, a railway worker who was not really much of a good example to him was not his biological father. At the age of 25, he learnt his real father was Leroy Moorehead from Arkansas, a World War II Veteran.
As a teen, Foreman was known as the bully. He lived the thug life and dropped out of high school in the 9th grade, aged 15. He sure was a troubled young man.
Subsequently, he joined the Job Corps in 195, a program set up by the US government with the aim of helping teens and young adults better their lives via academic and vocational training. It was there that Foreman encountered a boxing trainer Doc Broaddus who encouraged him to pursue a career in boxing.
George indeed had a splendid career. With a total of 86 fights, he had 76 wins, 68 of which were wins by Knock Outs and 5 losses including his legendary “The Rumble in the Jungle” tournament against Mohammed Ali.
After many resounding successes in the boxing world, the tough champ delved into a deep journey of faith and today is a pastor and the founder of The Church of the Lord Jesus Christ.
He is now dedicated to the formation of straying youths in the United States.
In his personal life, the former boxer who did not do much of smiling back in the day had a good number of failed marriages.
The serial divorcee was married five times; four of which were short-lived.
He was married to Adrienne Calhoun (1971-74), Cynthia Lewis (1977-79), Sharon Goodson (1981-1982), Andrea Skeete (1982-85), and currently still married to Mar Joan Martelly (1985).
George Foreman is a father of 12 children, 7 of which he had with Mar Joan, his longest married wife.
His children include 7 daughters and 5 sons- Freeda Foreman, George Foreman III, Georgetta Foreman, Leola Foreman, Isabella Brandie Lilja Foreman, George Foreman Jr, George Foreman IV, Natalia, Michi, George Foreman VI, Courtney Foreman, Isaac Foreman and George Foreman V.
Just as Laila Ali took after Mohammed Ali, so also did Freeda take after his father George. Georgetta is a known TV producer.
Looking back in his youth and thanks to the Christian faith, George wrote a book titled Fatherhood. He is now at the forefront of platforms campaigning for good parenting.
Professional Career And First Retirement
By the year 1968, Foreman had honed his boxing skills, enough to land him a berth on the US team ahead of the 1968 Mexico City Olympic Games. Foreman won the gold medal in the heavyweight division, marking the beginning of a decorated boxing career. His amateur career record was 22–4. Foreman rose to the peak of his boxing career like the speed of light.
Foreman’s pro career took the world by storm. He remained undefeated for 37 straight bouts winning 34 by KO. His record qualified him for a bout for the world heavyweight title against undefeated champion Joe Fraizer who had defended the title 4 times. Foreman entered the bout as an underdog but beat Fraizer to claim the title, stretching his unbeaten streak to 38. He defended his title twice one which lasted just 2 minutes to become the fastest KO in boxing history.
Foreman with a record of 40-0 was matched up against Muhammad Ali in a fight promoted by Don King and dubbed “The Rumble in the Jungle” was held in Kinshasa, Zaire (the present day the Democratic Republic of Congo) in 1974.
Ali broke a record with this defeat. He was the first to have ever defeated Foreman and the only one to do so with a KO.
After a near death experience following his bout versus Jimmy Young, Foreman gave his life to Christ and became a born-again Christian. He retired unofficially in 1977 and dedicated his life to God becoming an ordained minister. He also founded the George Foreman Youth and Community Center in Houston. He began appearing in Christian shows like 700 club. By 1977, it was estimated that Foreman had amassed $5 million ($20 million in 2016 dollars) from his professional career.
Near Bankruptcy And Comeback
Ten years later in 1987, Foreman was on the verge of bankruptcy and immediately returned to professional boxing.
It was just a matter of time before Foreman bounced back to the top. He defeated the then world heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield, pocketing about $12.5 million after the tournament.
In 1994, 45-year old Foreman defeated 27-year old Michael Moorer and earned himself a world heavyweight championship for the second time in his career. At that age he made history as the oldest to win the title.
Foreman finally and officially retired in 1997.
For 12 years (1992-1994), the ultra-talented boxer worked as a ring analyst for HBO.
Meanwhile, he did not waver in his devotion to Christianity. He spent his weekends teaching bible studies.
George Foreman Grills And Other Endorsement Deals
Whoever knew that the legendary boxer had some advertising skills in him. George Foreman pitched for top brands like Meineke, Nike and McDonald’s. The most-famous and financially rewarding of his pitchman services was his work with Salton, Inc (now under Spectrum Brands). It literally made him a super multi-millionaire.
Still in the sales and advertising business, Foreman legally signed his name to the Salton brand in 1989. Thus the launch of the George Foreman Grills.
Foreman’s exploits following his comeback served as an advantage for the sales of the fat-reducing grill from Salton.
Within a 15-year period, George Foreman grill had sold over 100 million units.
The great deal earned him a 40% cut from the entire profit made from the sales.
This translated into a stunning monthly income of $4.5 million. By 1999, Foreman had raked in $137.5 million for the rights to his name and image.
After coming out of a 10-year hiatus in the late 1980s, Foreman hit the jackpot with an endorsement deal that netted him upwards of $200 million contributing hugely to his jaw dropping net worth.
Foreman began a boxing promoting business called Foreman Boys Promotions in 2013. He also owns George Foreman’s Butcher Shop, an online meat company that sells all-natural Black Angus beef from small family farms
In 2016, “Big George” featured in NBC’s reality show, Better Late Than Never. The second season of the show is due to be premiered this month.
George Foreman Luxury House And Net Worth
The two-time and oldest heavyweight champion is estimated to have a $300 million
Foreman lives in a gated 45-acre property around Houston, Texas.
The animal lover has a ranch where he spends most leisure time with his favourites, the horses. In fact, he owns a stable of 50 horses.
George also boasts of a car collection of about 40 cars including Ferrari, Porsche, Maybach, Tesla and his favourite a 1977 VW Bug.