George Edward Foreman was born in Marshall, Texas, on January 10, 1949. Once a rebellious teen, "Big George" found boxing as an outlet while in the Job Corps. Foreman's successful amateur career included the 1968 National AAU heavyweight championship and the Gold Medal at the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico.
He turned pro in 1969 and wasted little time defeating top opposition including Gregorio Peralta and George Chuvalo. The hard-punching Foreman met heavyweight king Joe Frazier on January 22, 1973 and dispatched the champion in just two rounds. He defended his title successfully twice against Jose "King" Roman (KO 1) and Ken Norton (TKO 2) before losing the title to former champion Muhammad Ali in "The Rumble in the Jungle" on October 30, 1974. Following a series of exhibition bouts, Foreman bested Ron Lyle over five action-packed rounds in January 1976. That year he also defeated Frazier and Scott LeDoux before dropping a 12-round decision to Jimmy Young in 1977, after which Foreman had a religious experience and retired from the ring to become an ordained minister.
But a decade later, Foreman embarked on one of the most improbable, yet successful, comebacks in sports history. Reentering the ring, he racked up wins over Dwight Qawi, Bert Cooper and Gerry Cooney to earn a shot at Evander Holyfield's heavyweight title on April 19, 1991. Although he lost the decision, Foreman's outgoing personality and affable manner endeared him to sports fans. After wins over Alex Stewart and Pierre Coetzer, Foreman lost a decision to Tommy Morrison for the WBO title.
However, on November 5, 1994, the 45-year old Foreman defeated Michael Moorer to regain the heavyweight championship and became the oldest man to ever hold the crown. Foreman retired from the ring with a 76-5 (68 KOs) record following a controversial loss to Shannon Briggs in 1997.