George Foreman Biography

Famously known to the world as ‘Big George’, George Foreman is a former World Heavy Weight Champion, Olympic gold medalist, a pitch man, an entrepreneur and an author. Check out this biography for detailed information on his life.

Quick Facts

Nick Name: Big George, The Heywood Giant

Birthday: January 10, 1949

Nationality: American

Famous: Quotes By George Foreman Black Boxers

Age: 71 Years, 71 Year Old Males

Sun Sign: Capricorn

Also Known As: George Edward Foreman

Born in: Marshall, Texas

Height: 6'4" (193 cm), 6'4" Males

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Spouse/Ex-: Mary Joan Martelly (m. 1985), Adrienne Calhoun (m. 1971–1974), Andrea Skeete (m. 1982–1985), Cynthia Lewis (m. 1977–1979), Sharon Goodson (m. 1981–1982)

father: Leroy Moorehead

mother: Nancy Foreman

siblings: Roy Foreman

children: Freeda Foreman, George Foreman III, George Foreman IV, George Foreman Jr., George Foreman V, George Foreman VI, Georgetta Foreman, Isabella Brandie Lilja Foreman, Leola Foreman, Michi Foreman, Natalia Foreman

U.S. State: Texas

More Facts

education: Rice University

awards: 1973 - Ring Magazine Fighter of the Year
1976 - Ring Magazine Fighter of the Year
1973 - BWAA Fighter of the Year

1994 - BWAA Fighter of the Year
1968 - United States Amateur Heavyweight Champion
1974 - World Heavyweight Champion
1994–1995 - IBF Heavyweight Champion
1994–1995 - WBA Heavyweight Champion
1994-1997 - Lineal World Heavyweight Champion
1968 - Olympic Boxing Champions in Men's Heavyweight
1994 - Associated Press Male Athlete of the Year

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George Edward Foreman is the former World Heavy weight Champion who started his life from street fights and poverty but trained himself to be a world renowned boxer. He is known for his epic fights with ace boxers like Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier, Ken Norton, etc. His is a very interesting life story of epic victories, devastating defeats, retirements and larger than life comebacks. His was not a consistent boxing career as after every defeat he retreated into a safe haven away from the world of boxing. After his well-known defeat at the hands of Muhammad Ali, Foreman became a born-again Christian and devoted his life to god, charity and his family. But just when the world thought that he has succumbed to oblivion, he made a massive comeback at the age of 40, proving to the world that age is just a number. His fame and unorthodox boxing career earned him a lot of respect and money and he turned into a successful entrepreneur. He has been rated as one of the 25 greatest fighters of the past 80 years by The Ring magazine. The magazine also ranked him as the 9th greatest puncher of the century. He is also an author of multiple cookbooks and children’s books.

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Childhood & Early Life
  • In 1968, Foreman went on to win a gold medal in Olympics’ Heavyweight Boxing Championship in Mexico City. It was during this time that there were riots in US over civil rights and Vietnam. African-American community was still under speculation whether to support US policy or not. Many African-American athletes were publicly showing their contempt against US policy. Foreman was tempted for a while but it did not deter him from winning the medal.
  • In 1969, Foreman decided to take up boxing professionally and went through serious and rigorous boxing training sessions. In the same year he fought his first pro boxing match against Don Walheim in New York City. He won the match in a three-round knockout.
  • 1969 and 1970 were glorious years in the career of Foreman as he fought 13 fights in 1969 and won all of them, and in 1970 continued winning boxing matches by knocking out 11 men in total. Despite all his wins people criticized Foreman and said that he only won these matches because he fought against the has-beens.
  • In 1973, he silenced all the criticisms against him by fighting the ace champion Joe Frazier. In this epic match Foreman sent Frazier twice to the mat by the end of first round, once by lifting him off his feet. By the end of second round Frazier was beaten.
  • In 1974, Foreman escalated his success by fighting a match against the infamous heavyweight boxer Ken Norton. Ken Norton was notorious for his awkward boxing techniques and for breaking Muhammad Ali’s jaw. By the second round, Foreman had beaten Norton so badly that he wobbled on his legs in the ring and the referee had to intervene to stop the fight. This gave him 40-0 record with 37 knockouts.
  • In the summer of 1974, Foreman suffered his first defeat. He fought against Muhammad Ali in a match that took place in Congo. It was a tough match where both the boxers fought very hard but by the 8th round Foreman started to get tired and with Ali’s final blow to his head and jaw it was declared that Foreman has lost the match.
  • After his first defeat, Foreman made his comeback in 1976 in Las Vegas. He fought against Ron Lyle and after the 5th round Foreman sent Lyle to the ground and won the match. This win helped him to gain the confidence that he had lost in the match against Muhammad Ali.
  • In 1977, the course of Foreman’s life changed. Although, he won the match against Pedro Agosto in Florida, he lost to Jimmy Young in Puerto Rico. Foreman, like his match with Ali, was tired by the second half of the fight and endured a flash knockdown at the hands of Young.
  • It was in the dressing room after the fight with Jimmy Young that Foreman became ill and claimed to have suffered from a near death experience. Later on he said that it was in that moment of despair and suffering that he decided to change the ways of his life and dedicate his life to Christianity. He became a born-again Christian and stopped fighting.
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  • In the following years, he became an ordained minister in Houston, Texas and devoted his life to god and his family. He also opened a youth center and shared his Christian experiences on the television transmits like The 700 Club and the Trinity Broadcasting Network.
  • After 10 years of keeping himself away from the boxing ring, in 1987 Foreman declared his comeback at the age of 40, surprising everyone. Despite being out of shape, he knocked out Steve Zouski in the 4th round of the match in Sacramento, California.
  • In 1988, he won 9 fights, notably knocking out the Cruiserweight Champion Dwight Muhammad Qawi in one of these fights.
  • By 1989, Foreman started using his fame to get himself more fame and became the household name by selling diverse products in the advertisements on the television. People started associating with him a friendly and smiling image in contrast to the ferocious and ominous image he had before.
  • In 1991, Foreman fought the heavyweight Champion Evander Holyfield for the world title in a Pay Per View boxing event. Although, Foreman lasted the full 12 rounds but Holyfield proved too swift and strong for him and he lost the match.
  • In 1993, Foreman lost the match against Tommy Morrison. Morrison was more agile and younger than Foreman and he tired him out by the 12th round. It was unlikely that Foreman would be offered to fight at another championship after he lost to Morrison but he took the case to the court pleading age discrimination and eventually won the case.
  • In 1994, he stood against Michael Moorer in a title challenge in Las Vegas, Nevada. For the first 9 rounds Moorer outboxed Foreman but in the 10th round he punched Moorer in the chin and he landed flat on his back. This win earned Foreman the championship that he had lost to Muhammad Ali 20 years back—the World Boxing Association and International Boxing Federation heavyweight Title.
  • In 1997, Foreman fought his last boxing match against Shannon Briggs for the right to face WBC champion Lennox Lewis. By the 12th round, Briggs was declared as the champion and Foreman retired for good at the age of 48.
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Major Fights
  • In 1974, the match famously promoted as ‘The Rumble in the Jungle’ against Muhammad Ali was a historical match and an important one in the life of Foreman. It was the first time that he faced a defeat in his boxing career.
  • In 1987, Foreman made his comeback after 20 years of retirement from the boxing world. He won at the age of 38 in a match against Steve Zouski by knocking him out by the 4th round. He won the match even when he has been out of shape for the years he was not boxing. He self-proclaimed that he wanted to show everyone that the age 40 is not a ‘death sentence’.
  • In 1994, he became the world champion by defeating Michael Moorer in Las Vegas. He gained the title of the World Boxing Association and International Boxing Federation, the tile he has lost to Muhammad Ali in the epic ‘The Rumble in the Jungle’ 20 years back.
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Personal Life & Legacy
  • During 1981-83, Foreman got married and divorced thrice. It is also known that one of his wives fled to Barbados with their kids but he found them and got them back.
  • He has 12 children and 2 daughters. He has adopted two girls, Isabella Brandie Lilia and Courtney Isaac, in the years 2009 and 2012 respectively. He lives with his wife Mary Joan.
  • On November 5, 1994, at the age of 45, he became the oldest heavyweight champ in history when he knocked out Michael Moorer in the 10th round.
  • The time when Foreman lost to Muhammad Ali, it dented his pride and he got caught into a self destructive cycle by wasting money and womanizing. In 1989, Muhammad Ali and Foreman became good friends.
  • Foreman made a return from his retirement in 1987 because he had exhausted all his money earned from boxing from previous years and he needed to support his children.
  • During his match for the title with Michael Moorer in Las Vegas, Foreman wore the same red trunks that he wore when he lost the same title to Ali 20 years back.
  • He was signed as a spokesperson for the ‘fat-reducing grill’ by Russell Hobbs. It is said that the company paid him around 137 million dollars to buy out the rights for his name to name a grill the ‘George Foreman Grill’.

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Last Updated
- September 18, 2017
George Foreman

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