Charles Barkley was born in Leeds, Alabama on February 20, 1963. His father abandoned the family when he was a baby. His mother eventually remarried and had two more kids.
However, his stepfather died in an accident when Charles was only 11 years old. He went to Leeds High School and didn’t make the varsity basketball team as a junior. But he improved enough in his senior year to catch the attention of Auburn University’s head coach.
From 1981 to 1984, he was recruited to the university and majored in business management. He played three seasons of college basketball at Auburn. Barkley rapidly became known for his crowd-pleasing dunks and shot blocks.
He did not have the traditional basketball body type; he was shorter than the normal player and struggled to eliminate excess weight. However, throughout his tenure at Auburn, he garnered numerous honours, including Southeastern Conference (SEC) Player of the Year.
Barkley left Auburn in his junior year and was selected by the Philadelphia 76ers. He was the team’s leader by the 1986-87 season, and the following year he became the Sixers’ franchise player.
During his career with the Sixers, he appeared in six all-star games and was awarded MVP in two of them. Barkley’s eight seasons in Philadelphia established him as a household celebrity, and he even had his own Nike signature shoe line at this point.
Charles was transferred to the Phoenix Suns in July 1992. He led the Suns to an NBA-best record by averaging 25.6 points and 5.1 assists per game.
He was named Most Valuable Player almost immediately after being traded; becoming only the third player in history to do so. He qualified for his sixth All-Star Game.
A severe back injury cut short his stint with the Suns, and he announced that the 1995-96 season would be his final in Phoenix. During his stay, Barkley led the team in rebounding, steals, and scoring while also earning All-NBA and All-Star honours and hitting a career-high. 777 from the free-throw line.
Charles has been a well-known product pitchman throughout his career. During his career, he starred in a well-known Nike commercial in which he stated, “I am not a role model.” He has also been a spokesperson for McDonald’s and T-Mobile.
Barkley married Maureen Blumhardt in 1989, and the couple has one child, Christina (b. 1989).
Barkley is a well-known gambler. He has acknowledged losing around $10 million. And possibly as much as $30 million, in gambling throughout the course of his life. Including $2.5 million in less than six hours while playing blackjack.
Barkley, a longtime Republican, changed his mind and proclaimed support for Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential election. He considered running for Governor of Alabama as an Independent for many years. Barkley has been a staunch proponent of homosexual rights and a critic of President Donald Trump.
As per records, the basketballer is worth $50 million as of 2021.