World Boxing Champion & Entrepreneur
George Edward Foreman was born to J.D. and Nancy Foreman on January 10, 1949, in the town of Marshall, Texas. An impoverished youth, Foreman often bullied younger children and didn’t like getting up early for school. Foreman became a mugger and brawler on the hard streets of Houston’s Fifth Ward by age 15. Luckily, he…
George Edward Foreman was born to J.D. and Nancy Foreman on January 10, 1949, in the town of Marshall, Texas. An impoverished youth, Foreman often bullied younger children and didn’t like getting up early for school. Foreman became a mugger and brawler on the hard streets of Houston’s Fifth Ward by age 15.
Luckily, he was saved by the Lyndon B. Johnson Job Corps, a program developed to help disadvantaged kids by teaching them vocational job skills. Foreman traveled to California which is where he met Doc Broaddus, who was a Job Corps counselor and a boxing coach. It was Broaddus who encouraged Foreman to become a boxer.
Once he began to train at the gym, Foreman rapidly established an impressive amateur record. The culmination of his amateur boxing career came at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City, where he won a gold medal in only his 25th amateur fight. He got extra attention when he brandished an American flag after his win.
“There was a big element of patriotism in what I did; being in the Olympics, you couldn’t help but love your country more than before,” Foreman said in his autobiography By George. “But I meant it in a way that was much bigger than ordinary patriotism. It was about identity. An American – that’s who I was. I was waving the flag as much for myself as for the country. I was letting everyone know who I was and at the same time saying that I was proud to be an American.”
In 1969, Foreman turned professional and within two years, Foreman was ranked the No. 1 challenger by the WBA and WBC. By 1972, Foreman had a perfect 37-0 record which included 35 knockouts.
Foreman got his shot at the world heavyweight championship when he fought Joe Frazier on January 22, 1973, in Kingston, Jamaica. Frazier was the favorite going into the bout, but Foreman knocked him down six times en route to a second round knockout. An unprecedented TV audience watched Foreman become the champ because the fight was HBO Boxing’s first-ever broadcast.
After becoming the champion, Foreman successfully defended his title twice. He beat Puerto Rican heavyweight champion Jose Roman in only 50 seconds, which at the time was the shortest heavyweight championship match ever. Foreman also beat Ken Norton, who had just beaten Muhammad Ali, in a mere two rounds. Winning those two fights then set up one of the most famous fights in history: “The Rumble in the Jungle” between Foreman and Muhammad Ali.
Ali used a tactic later known as “rope-a-dope” to wear out Foreman who threw hundreds of punches during the fight. Then in the eighth round, Ali unloaded with a series of punches that knocked out Foreman and allowed Ali to regain the heavyweight championship of the world.
After not fighting in 1975, Foreman returned to boxing and won five consecutive fights, all by knockout. Then in Puerto Rico on March 17, 1977, Foreman lost in a decision to Jimmy Young. It was in his dressing room after the fight that Foreman had a religious experience that changed his life forever. Foreman gave up boxing and became a born-again Christian.
He was ordained a minister in 1978 and began preaching in his hometown of Houston, Texas. In 1984, he founded the George Foreman Youth and Community Center, a non-denominational place for kids who need direction like he once did.
However, by the mid-1980s, Foreman was running out of money and people around him were advising him to close the Youth and Community Center. Foreman saw how much the Center was helping people so he was determined to do what was necessary to keep it open. So, in 1987, after not fighting for almost 10 years to the day, Foreman returned to the ring.
While there was no shortage of detractors, Foreman proved them all wrong when he kept piling up win after win. In fact, Foreman had won 24 consecutive fights during his comeback including 22 by knockout. Now at age 42, Foreman’s success and popularity earned him a chance at the title against unbeaten Evander Holyfield. The fight went the full 12 rounds and while Holyfield won in a decision, Foreman gained a great deal of credibility.
After more than a year out of the ring, On Nov. 5, 1994, Foreman took on the new champ, Michael Moorer, and knocked him out in the 10th round. With the victory, at the age of 45, Foreman became the oldest fighter ever to win the heavyweight crown as well as the boxer with the most time between one world championship and the next. Foreman gave away his titles in 1995, after defending them against Axel Schultz and refusing a rematch. Foreman ultimately retired in 1997 after compiling an amazing 76-5 career record.
Since the early 1990s, Foreman had discovered his talent for salesmanship, and by the end of the decade, he was making millions off of his appearances in infomercials marketing the George Foreman Lean Mean Grilling Machine. To date, more than 100 million of the units have sold worldwide.
Foreman also spent over a decade promoting Meineke Car Care Centers and grew the business to over 1000 franchises. He has now successfully launched a line of environmentally safe cleaning products, exclusive line of personal care products, a prescription shoe for diabetics to prevent amputations, a restaurant franchise called UFood Grille, 10 books, and the list continues to build.
Foreman tends to his ministry at The Church of the Lord Jesus Christ where he preaches four times a week. He also loves spending free time with his family on his ranch in Marshall, Texas.
Ernie was perfect for our Elders Conference at Little River Casino Resort in Manistee, Michigan. We will definitely be using PDA again!
LITTLE RIVER BAND OF OTTAWA INDIANS
Our speaker was great and the crowd enjoyed her! She was very engaging. Thank you again PDA for the great list of suggestions!
Everything went great! and our speaker was wonderful! Thank you so much for all your help PDA! Looking forward to the next one.
UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI – KANSAS CITY
I hope that this message finds you well. We had a phenomenal time with Atsuko this past Thursday. We wanted to just let you know how amazing she was. All those that were in attendance thoroughly enjoyed her and had nothing but amazing things to say about her. Thank you for working with us to make sure this happened!
BAYLOR UNIVERSITY CAMPUS
We had a fantastic day with Inge! She was very engaging with all those that attended. Her personal stories about the holocaust were very special and we were moved that she was willing to share them with everyone. Thank you again, PDA for all your hard work and dedication to make this program such a success!
SALT LAKE COMMUNITY COLLEGE
Dear PDA Group, Thank you so much for your hard work in scheduling our speaker! From the moment we reached out to you the first time, you worked with us on all details and logistics and kept us up-to-date on the progress. Thank you for all your hard work on making our event such a success! We couldn't have done it without you and your team!
Thank you again, Dr. Kimbrough, for a great presentation, our attendees are still talking about it!
Dr. Henry Lee's presentation was entertaining, insightful and wise. I, and everyone at Pfizer, especially appreciate the remarks you directed about following your passion and preparing yourself to excel. Thank you, everyone, at PDA for helping to make this happen!
The event was successful! I received many messages expressing how awesome, outstanding and inspiring Ms. Webb-Christburg's speech was."
DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. MEMORIAL BREAKFAST, BOSTON, MLK SPEAKER
Everything went well. Atsuko was very easy to work with and the students enjoyed her performance! Thank you again for your recommendation and I hope to work with you again in the future!
CENTRAL MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY
Dr. Novello left this morning after a very successful event on our campus! Thank you PDA Group for your help from the first phone to the last you were with us every step of the way.
GRAND VALLEY STATE UNIVERSITY
Jordan Carlos was very very entertaining! A majority of students who answered the event survey indicated they really enjoyed Jordan and definitely will bring him back!
WESTERN CAROLINA UNIVERSITY
On behalf of myself and my organization Entertainment Unlimited the Campus Programming Board of Ferris State University, we thank you PDA and Dan for a successful event!! Dan was magnificent! Students really enjoyed the presentation. I know I did. Can't wait to bring in more programs with PDA Group.
FERRIS STATE UNIVERSITY
It was a great pleasure to work with PDA Group! The communication was always prompt, friendly and helpful. We loved the speakers and events we booked through Mr. Peter Walker (PDA Group).
WESTERN MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY
Thank you, Peter, for all your help, you'll be happy to know that the event went incredibly well! Aneesa Ferreira was by far one of the best speakers we've ever had!
How to Get Up When Life Knocks You Down
Empowering Youth to Move Off the Ropes & Into the Ring of Success
Selling Your Brand: The George Foreman Grill & the Healthy Eating Revolution
The Art of Fighting in Business & in Life
George Foreman on Larry King Now
1 HOUR OR LESS