Professional since 1954, Don King is an American boxing promoter famous for managing historic boxing match-ups; notably, Muhammad Ali fights: The Rumble in the Jungle (Ali vs Foreman) and Thrilla in Manila (Ali vs Frazier).
Working as a promoter & with contract clauses for many high-profile boxers like Larry Holmes, Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield, Bernard Hopkins, and Marco Antonio Barrera, King grabbed a hefty sum of money.
Considered among successful boxing promoters, Don King's life barely seems to distance himself from legal issues; that includes "killing" of 2 people in 13 years apart & lawsuits by many boxers on claims of fraud.
According to Celebrity Net Worth, 88-year-old King has a net worth of $150 million as of March 2020. With a career of 65 years as a boxing promoter, Don King's successful venture indeed became a major source of his vast income.
The Kent State University drop-out got a stand to his career as a boxing promoter after he convinced Muhammad Ali for a charity boxing for hospital-based in Cleveland in the early 70s & made $80,000.
So far, the boxing promoter reportedly has promoted over 600 World Championship fights; notably promoted 12 world championship bouts in 1992 & 47 bouts in 1994.
As per Forbes, in 2006, King over the course of 33 years in boxing field through 600 bouts had collected $1 billion.
In 1974, King's career breakthrough came as he negotiated for an epic fight between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman; the bout is better known as The Rumble in the Jungle.
The most-anticipated boxing match (Ali vs Foreman) with a purse of $10 million, projected to earn each of boxers a whopping $5 million.
Later, in 1975, Don King's career, even more, got a lift after he worked as a promoter for Muhammad Ali vs Joe Frazier fight aka Thrilla in Manila, which earned Ali $6 million prize money.
Moreover, also, Cleveland, Ohio-born promoter played a vital role to encourage Carl Lombardo, a Cleveland-based tycoon to overwrite Ali vs Chuck Wepner's fight in 1975, for $1.3 million.
King's other anticipated & expensive ever boxing promotion was Mike Tyson vs. Evander Holyfield in 1997, which made a gross collection of $100 million including revenue from pay-per-view.
Under Don King Productions promotional banner, the American boxing promoter managed bouts for other famous fighters like Aaron Pryor, Bernard Hopkins, Ricardo López, Terry Norris, Mike McCallum, Meldrick Taylor, and Ricardo Mayorga.
In 2008, he was elected in Gaming Hall of Fame.
Working as a promoter for boxing, Don King's saw him showers of million of dollars- indeed, the viewership of fights of many high-profile fighters proved to be the milestone to success.
According to the Richest, in 1996, under King's banner, three fights that year made $31 million in ticket sales, totaling $168 million in gross.
Similarly in 2003, considered top-3 fights ticket sales collected $13 million, with an overall gross of $66 million.
King purchased in Cleveland-based weekly newspaper Call and Post in 1998 & became its publisher by 2011. Moreover, he took the managerial role for The Jacksons, an American pop band's tour 1984 Victory Tour (July 6- December 9, 1984).
Reportedly, the tour had an attendance of 2 million & grossed $75 million (adjusted inflation in 2019 reported at $185 million).
Despite being surrounded with multi-millionaire dollars fortune, King barely seems to dodge the hailstones of controversies. In fact, many fighters filed numerous lawsuits against him claiming fraud & breach of contract.
The now-late boxer Muhammad Ali, in 1982, had sued King claiming he received $1.1 million underpaid in a bout against Larry Holmes. However, the case settled after Don King sent Ali $50,000 & also got a letter signed that allowed him promotional rights for Ali's other bouts.
Another most infamous lawsuit against King was by Mike Tyson, filed in 1998, asking $100 million & stating the promoter cheated him millions of over a decade; eventually, it settled out of court for a reported $14 million.
Check out other lawsuits against Don King:
Before settlement, Holmes outlet report alleged that Don King defrauded him $10 million in his career- most notable claims included underpayment of $2 million in the bout with Ali and another $2-$3 million in the fight against Gerry Cooney.
Tim claimed that King threatened him to sign a contract with King and his stepson Carl, with King have a share of 50% while Carl took 33% of Witherspoon's purses.
Reportedly, Don King got $1.7 million from HBO to promote Witherspoon vs Bruno, but Witherspoon's purse was $500,000 & even more, it was deduced to $90,000. On the other, King's son Carl made $275,000.
As for a fact, King also filed a lawsuit against ESPN, owned by Walt Disney Pictures in 2005 claiming $2.5 million in damages, stating the company's film SportsCentury allegedly defamed him. However, the case was dismissed later.
Did you know? Don King accidentally introduced Donald Trump with "N-word" at a campaign in 2016 at a black church in Cleveland.
King currently lives in Las Vegas, Nevada, & the average house in the region is $285,524. Formerly, the American promoter lived in Delray Beach, Florida house which he sold in 2001 for $330,000.
In May 2011, he put his 2 home compounds in Manalapan, Florida for sales asking $20 million & $27.9 million respectively.
As for a fact, Don King bought the property 18,000 sq. ft. in 1999 for $7.8 million & another 6,000 sq. ft. in 2000 for $6.5 million.
Later in June 2011, the American promoter sold his 2-home estate in Manalapan for $4 million less- at $15.95 million.
Don King was born Donald King on August 20, 1931, in Cleveland, Ohio, the USA to Clarence King & Hattie King. The 1951 John Adams High graduate attended Kent State University but dropped out later.
In 1954, King was convicted of shooting a man, in the back but was ruled a justified homicide after it was reported, that man was trying to rob one of his gambling houses.
Later, 13 years apart, Don was again convicted of "second-degree murder" in 1967, after he allegedly stumped one of his employees named Sam Garrett to death, who owed King $600.
In 1971, he was paroled & then in 1983, was pardoned by Ohio Governor Jim Rhodes after receiving letters from Jesse Jackson, Coretta Scott King, and Gabe Paul, who wrote in support of King.
Don King was in a martial relationship with wife Henrietta King from 1959 to December 2, 2010, until her death. While together, they welcomed 3 children: 2 sons, Carl & Eric and a daughter named Deborah.