Don King Net Worth & Biography - Celebrity Net Worth




Don King is an American former boxing promoter known for his involvement in historic boxing matchups. He has been a controversial figure, partly due to a manslaughter conviction and civil cases against him.

King's career highlights include, among multiple other enterprises, promoting "The Rumble in the Jungle" and the "Thrilla in Manila". King has promoted some of the most prominent names in boxing, including -

  • Muhammad Ali
  • Joe Frazier
  • George Foreman
  • Larry Holmes
  • Tomasz Adamek
  • Mike Tyson
  • Evander Holyfield
  • Chris Byrd
  • John Ruiz
  • Julio César Chávez
  • Ricardo Mayorga
  • Andrew Golota
  • Bernard Hopkins
  • Félix Trinidad
  • Roy Jones Jr.
  • Azumah Nelson
  • Marco Antonio Barrera

As of , Don King has an estimated net worth of about $160M.

At a Glance

Full name: Donald King

Other names: Don King

Birthday: August 20, 1931


Net worth: $160M

Occupation: Boxing Promoter

Nationality: United States of America

Net Worth

Outside of boxing, Don King was the concert promoter for The Jacksons' 1984 Victory Tour. In 1998, King purchased a Cleveland-based weekly newspaper serving the African-American community in Ohio, the Call and Post, and as of 2011 continued as its publisher. As of , Don King has an estimated net worth of about $160M.

Early Life

King was born in Cleveland, Ohio, where he attended school and graduated from John Adams High in 1951. After dropping out of Kent State University, he ran an illegal bookmaking operation out of the basement of a record store on Kinsman Road, and was charged with killing two men in incidents 13 years apart.

The first was determined to be justifiable homicide after it was found that King shot Hillary Brown in the back and killed him while he was attempting to rob one of King's gambling houses in 1954. In 1967, King was convicted of second degree murder for the second killing after he was found guilty of stomping to death an employee, Sam Garrett, who owed him $600.

He served his term at the Marion Correctional Institution, while there he began self-education, according to his own words, he read everything in the prison library he could get his hands on. King was pardoned in 1983 by Ohio Governor Jim Rhodes, with letters from Jesse Jackson, Coretta Scott King, George Voinovich, Art Modell, and Gabe Paul, among others, being written in support of King.

Quotes from Don King

“If you cast your bread upon the water and you have faith, you’ll get back cash. If you don’t have faith, you’ll get soggy bread.” – Don King
“Machiavelli taught me it was better to be feared than loved. Because if you are loved they sense you might be weak. I am a man of the people and help them but it is important to do so through strength.” – Don King
“Muhammad Ali – he was a magnificent fighter and he was an icon… Every head must bow, every knee must bend, every tongue must confess, thou art the greatest, the greatest of all time, Muhammad, Muhammad Ali.” – Don King
“You can be the greatest guy in the world but if you ain’t got no heart, you ain’t gonna survive.” – Don King
“Larry is like a son to me and we enjoy a most wonderful relationship, one with meaning, dignity, pride, understanding, and purpose. But more importantly, one of mutual respect. Larry and I both pride ourselves on being men of our word and when we say we will be together for life it is not just convention but is said with feeling and commitment that comes from struggling together, growing together and being family.” – Don King
“I can’t believe that having said what I said was interpreted as having been what I said when I said it because I said it where I said it, when I said it, and who I said it to.” – Don King


King entered the boxing world after convincing Muhammad Ali to box in a charity exhibition for a local hospital in Cleveland with the help of singer Lloyd Price. Early on he formed a partnership with a local promoter named Don Elbaum, who already had a stable of fighters in Cleveland and years of experience in boxing. In 1974, King negotiated to promote a heavyweight championship fight between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman in Zaire, popularly known as "The Rumble in the Jungle". The fight between Ali and Foreman was a much-anticipated event. King's rivals all sought to promote the bout, but King was able to secure the then-record $10 million purse through an arrangement with the government of Zaire.

According to columnist Red Smith, King "induced a Cleveland tycoon named Carl Lombardo to underwrite [Ali's 1975 fight against journeyman Chuck Wepner] for $1.3‐million. Video Techniques put in $200,000 and that just about took care of the nut." Chuck Wepner went 15 rounds with Muhammad Ali, "knocking down" his opponent by stepping on his foot in the ninth round, as an unheralded challenger for the WBA and WBC world heavyweight champion crowns in 1975. Legend has it that Sylvester Stallone saw the fight – which Wepner lost to a knockout in the final seconds – and was spurred to write the screenplay for Rocky (1976), which won the 1976 Best Picture Oscar.

King solidified his position as one of boxing's preeminent promoters the following year with the third fight between Ali and Joe Frazier in Manila, the capital of the Philippines, which King deemed the "Thrilla in Manila". Aside from promoting the premier heavyweight fights of the 1970s, King was also busy expanding his boxing empire. Throughout the decade, he compiled an impressive roster of fighters, many of whom would finish their career with Hall of Fame credentials. Fighters including Larry Holmes, Wilfred Benítez, Roberto Durán, Salvador Sánchez, Wilfredo Gómez, and Alexis Argüello would all fight under the Don King Productions promotional banner in the 1970s.

For the next two decades, King continued to be among boxing's most successful promoters. Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield, Julio César Chávez, Aaron Pryor, Bernard Hopkins, Ricardo López, Félix Trinidad, Terry Norris, Carlos Zárate, Azumah Nelson, Andrew GoĊ‚ota, Mike McCallum, Gerald McClellan, Meldrick Taylor, Marco Antonio Barrera, Tomasz Adamek, and Ricardo Mayorga are some of the boxers who chose King to promote many of their biggest fights.

King, was elected to the Gaming Hall of Fame in 2008.