Flamboyant appearances, organizing spectacular boxing matches, controversy, and even conflicts with the law…only one person can respond to this description: Don King. The famed boxing promoter was born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1931 and showed an early penchant for making money from sports events.
Don King Net Worth - $150 Million
Birth Name - Donald "Don" King
Date of birth - August 20, 1931
Zodiac Sign - Virgo
Birth Place - Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.
Nationality - American
Height - 6′ 2″
Profession - Actor, Promoter
After dropping out of the Kent State University, Donald King started an illegal bookmaking operation from the basement of a record store. The illegal operation continued until 1966, after King was convicted for the murder of an employee who owed him $600. King’s final conviction was reduced to non-negligent manslaughter and he served less than 4 years in prison.
Don King Enters the Boxing Promoting Business and Writes History: Freshly out of prison, Don King joins forces with a local Cleveland boxing promoter, Don Elbaum, who already had a roster of boxers and even first-hand experience as a former boxer. King’s breakthrough came when he convinced the legendary boxer Muhammad Ali to fight in a charity match for a Cleveland hospital.
After this initial collaboration with Ali, Don King managed to arrange the most iconic boxing match ever seen at that age: the Rumble in the Jungle between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman, arranged to take part in Zaire with the financial support of the local government. The prize negotiated by King with the Zaire government was an unattainable record for the time: $10 million.
The Next Legendary Stint: The Thrilla in Manila: Don King was quick to understand the value of celebrity names, lavish presentation and building a spectacular PR campaign for boxing matches. Once can say that King brought boxing into the era of glamour and exorbitant prizes.
After the 1974 Rumble in the Jungle, King applied the same formula next year and organized a spectacular match in Manila, the capital of the Philippines, between Muhammad Ali and George Frazier. The Thrilla in Manila show established Don King’s reputation as a top level boxing promoter with a nose for big money.
During the latter 1970s and until the mid 1990’s, Don King added a lot of legendary names in professional boxing to his roster: Wilfred Benitez, Evander Holyfield, Mike Tyson, Bernard Hopkins, Ricardo Lopez and Felix Tridindad among many others.
During the 1980s, King even tried his hand at music promotion, by managing The Jackson’s Victory Tour in 1984 – a financial failure and a complete disappointment for the famous Jackson brothers.
The significant Don King net worth estimated at $150 million at the present was considerably diminished by the many lawsuits he was involved in. Many of the boxers he promoted sued him for being cheated of their prizes and, in many cases, King preferred to settle out of court. Currently, Don King is a widower and has three children: Debbie, Carl and Eric.