Don King: Age, weight, height, partner, and controversy of this boxing promoter

Donald King (89 years old) is an American former boxing promoter who was born on August 20, 1931, known for his involvement in historic boxing matches.

He has been a controversial personality, mostly due to a manslaughter sentence and several civil cases against him. 

Donald weighs 85 kgs and he is 6 ft 1 in tall.

King’s career highlights include promoting some big names in boxing, including Mike Tyson, John Ruiz, Joe Frazier, Azumah Nelson, Marco Antonio Barrera, Larry Holmes, Ricardo Mayorga, Bernard Hopkins, Roy Jones Jr., Andrew Golota, Muhammad Ali, Evander Holyfield, Félix Trinidad, and Julio César Chávez.

Ironically, most of these boxers have sued him for defrauding them and most of the cases were settled out in court.

After spotting a man trying to rob one of his gambling houses, King shot him in the back in 1954. However, it was called justifiable homicide.

He also has been charged with killing two people in incidents 13 years apart.

He has served three years and eleven months in prison (convicted of voluntary manslaughter) for stomping one of his employees to death. 

Early life and career

Donald was born in Cleveland, located along the southern shore of Lake Erie, Ohio.

He attended John Adams in 1951 in Ohio. After dropping out of the University, he started running an illegal bookmaking operation on Kinsman Road.

He mentioned that during his time at Marion Correctional Institution, he read everything from the library in the prison and began his self-education.

In 1983, Donald was pardoned by Ohio Governor Jim Rhodes with support letters from George Voinovich, Gabe Paul, and others.

With the help of singer Lloyd Price, Donald successfully convinced Muhammad Ali to box in a charity exhibition (for a local hospital in Cleveland). This is how Donald entered the boxing world.

In his early career, he partnered up with Don Elbaum (a local promoter). At that time (in 1974) Elbaum had years of experience in boxing and he already had a stable of some boxers.

Through an arrangement with the government of Zaire, King was able to secure the then-record $10 million purse after his rivals all sought to promote the bout.

King and his team created a lot of anticipation by making the event popular and which still is known as “The Rumble in the Jungle”, the fight between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman in Zaire. 

This is believed by many that the fight that was arranged by Donald (Ali against Chuck Wepner, in 1975), inspired Sylvester Stallone to write the screenplay for Rocky (1976).

With the third fight between Ali and Joe Frazier in Manila, Philippines, Donald strengthened his position as one of boxing’s preeminent promoters.

This fight was most popularly known as the “Thrilla in Manilla”.

Over the years, he arranged an impressive roster of fighters, and several of them finished their career with Hall of Fame credentials.

In the 1970s, Donald was successfully able to build his Don King Productions promotional banner, which would make many fighters fight under his banner. 

Personal life

On December 2, 2010, At the age of 87, Donald’s wife Henrietta died.

He has five grandchildren, one biological daughter (Debbie), and two adopted sons (Carl and Eric).

Donald supported Barack Obama in the 2008 and 2012 elections and he is politically active. He has also been seen promoting George W. Bush during the previous presidential elections.


It has been said that Don has possible connections with organized crime.

Also, Donald invoked the Fifth Amendment when he was asked if he has any possible connection to John Gotti (a mobster). This was during a Senate investigation in 1992.

He was also called an unindicted co-conspirator who was the principal beneficiary of Lee’s machinations. This was after Robert W. “Bobby” Lee, the IBF president was indicted for racketeering.

However, Donald was not indicted nor testified at Lee’s trial.

He has been involved in many fraud cases with several boxers.

He was sued by Muhammad Ali for underpaying him($1.1 million) for his fight.

Donald found a way of getting out of this by handing over a suitcase containing $50,000 cash to one of Ali’s friends (Shabazz) and told him to deliver it to him and requested a letter to end the lawsuit.

Shabazz mentioned later that at that time Ali was in the hospital due to his poor health and he needed the money.

Ali ended the lawsuit without asking his lawyer which made his lawyer very sad and made him cry.

Mike Tyson (former undisputed World Heavyweight Boxing Champion) also sued Donald for $100 million, and this lawsuit was settled out of court after Tyson received $14 million.

Tyson also mentioned Donald as “greedy”, “ruthless” and “deplorable”.

Donald has caused a large controversy when he introduced Donald Trump by using the word “ni**a” at a campaign event at a black church in Cleveland.

At the campaign, King gave a long speech to his community, to focus more on being intellectual and stop acting like white people. 

In 2005, a documentary made by SportsCentury (ESPN) claimed that Donald had “killed, not once, but twice”.

He had also threatened Larry Holmes and cheated on Meldrick Taylor out of $1 million after threatening to kill him.

Donald stood up and said he had enough.

His attorney also said that the documentary showed his image in the worst way and he also called Donald a strong man and said that he has been hurt.

It was found in the court that Donald could not prove that any of the statements were false.

The judge also mentioned that the guys from the studio had tried to contact him for the documentary, but he denied it all the time. 

NameDonald King
BornAugust 20, 1931
Height6 ft 1 in
Years active1954−present
OccupationBoxing Promoter

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