Don King has marked his legacy in the boxing industry as one of the most successful promoters in history. Years later into his career, many are likely wondering what is Don King’s net worth today. Does he still earn money? Is he still promoting?
Famous for his legendary events and iconic hairstyle, Don King is a name you won’t miss in boxing. As of 2023, the boxing promoter still holds a $150 million net worth despite being out of the public eye since 2010.
This post discusses how the legendary boxing promoter achieved such success and his controversial rise.
Donald “Don” King has been a long-time boxing promoter since 1971.
King worked with several unknown boxers at the start, experiencing some success. But it wasn’t until King convinced Muhammad Ali to fight for a charity event that he had his breakthrough. From here, King began hosting several fights, some of his most successful being “Thrilla in Manila” and “Rumble in the Jungle.”
Although King mainly focused on Ali throughout his career, the boxing promoter also worked with other boxers, such as Larry Holmes and Mike Tyson.
Despite the numerous lawsuits against King, he stayed afloat and kept his net worth at an all-time high today.
Born on the 20th of August in 1931, Donald “Don” King was born. After graduating high school, King attended Kent State University. But it wasn’t long after King dropped out of University due to his participation in illegal activities.
King initially operated an illegal bookmaking operation. But it all came crashing down when King got arrested for murder. He was charged with two accounts of murder. The judge considered his first murder a “justifiable homicide,” as King shot a robber trying to steal from his illegal operations.
The judge didn’t pardon King for the second murder, charging him with second-degree manslaughter. But it wasn’t long until King got pardoned for his crime. And then, he decided to pursue a career as a boxing promoter.
Upon his release from prison, Don King decided to pursue a career in boxing promotions. Although he had some success initially, his breakthrough came when he worked with Muhammad Ali. King negotiated $10 million for the anticipated fight between Ali and George Forman.
King promoted the legendary “The Rumble in the Jungle” event held in Africa. After, King had another boxing event for the legendary heavyweight boxer against Chuck Wepner. But it wasn’t until Ali’s fight with Joe Frazier that King hit another milestone in his career. King’s work with “Thrilla in Manilla” was and is still one of the most successful fights he launched.
Although Muhammad Ali was the main focus for King, the promoter also worked with other boxers. These range from Larry Holmes to Mike Tyson.
Don King married his long-time partner Henrietta King in 1959. The two welcomed two children together, one daughter and one son. Aside from that, Henrietta and Don also adopted one child.
The two lived together until Henrietta died in 2010 when Don King struggled to be in public. Recently, it seems the boxing promoter got his knack back and holds one or two boxing events now and then.
Getting Charged for Manslaughter
But King’s life wasn’t always easy as he was arrested for different crimes. He even got imprisoned due to murdering two individuals. It was before King began his career in promoting boxing.
When King ran his illegal bookmaking operation, he killed two men. The first was when King shot the individual in the back while attempting to steal one of his illegal gambling establishments. And the other was when King stomped the person to death because he owed him $600. These two murders happened between 1964 and 1967.
The court ruled King’s first murder as a “justifiable homicide” since he was getting robbed. But he got charged with second-degree murder for the other. Sadly, it wasn’t long before the decision changed to “nonnegligent manslaughter.” The judge then decided it was accidental due to King being in the heat of the moment.
A Life of Lawsuits in Boxing Promotions
Manslaughter aside, King has also gotten sued by several boxers. Muhammad Ali launched a case against King in 1982, claiming the promoter underpaid the fighter, stealing over $1 million from him. It eventually got settled outside of court for $50,000.
Aside from Ali, Larry Holmes filed a lawsuit against King for cheating him out of $10 million. Eventually, the two decided to agree on a settlement of $150,000. Meanwhile, Tim Witherspoon claimed King tricked him into handing over 80% of his earnings to the promoter and his associates, which is illegal. But after suing King for $25 million, they settled the case for $1 million outside of court.
However, King’s most famous case was of Mike Tyson. The boxer claimed King had cheated him out of millions over the years they worked together. And eventually, the fighter sued King for $100 million. But again, the two settled it outside of court, where Tyson received $14 million.
Throughout his career, several boxers would come forward with several claims. And some even said the promoter threatened to have them killed or injured if they didn’t do what he said.
In total, Don King got arrested over 35 times for several crimes.
You can find Don King in the political world when he’s not working on boxing promotions. He’s active in politics and has openly supported former president Barack Obama between 2008 and 2012. And King also promoted former president George W. Bush years back.
But all isn’t bad with the boxing promoter, considering King also does charity work. He has held a yearly turkey giveaway for Christmas for many years. And here, King distributes over 2000 free turkeys to South Floridians in need.
What is Don King’s Net Worth?
Don King’s net worth stands at a staggering $150 million today.
King’s wealth mainly comes from his boxing promotions, earning him millions. He has worked with many successful and legendary boxers throughout his career. These include Muhammad Ali, Mike Tyson, Ray Jones Jr, etc.
Promoting fights aside, King has also earned some from other industries. Most notably with his work on Michael Jackson’s Victory Tour. And some time in his career, the boxing promoter bought a newspaper outlet called “Call and Post,” where he worked as the editor for many years.
King’s multi-million dollar real estate investments added more to his massive net worth. King has bought and sold several opulent properties throughout his career. And he currently lives in a $1.8 million estate in Paradise, Nevada.
How Does Don King Make Money?
Don King mainly earned his wealth through boxing promotions. After his big breakthrough with Muhammad Ali, King continued working with some of the best boxers in history. These include Mike Tyson, Sugar Ray Johnson, and more. One of the promoter’s most iconic events is “Thrilla in Manila,” the blood-curdling fight against the best heavyweight boxers at the time — Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier III.
Another legendary boxing event hosted by Don King is “Rumble in the Jungle,” between George Foreman and Muhammad Ali.
Don King dabbles in other industries when he’s not out promoting boxing fights. For instance, King once managed Michael Jackson’s “Victory Tour.” And this likely added more to the promoter’s wealth over time.
During his career, Don King also bought a newspaper outlet named “Call and Post,” where he worked as the editor for many years. And this likely earned him hundreds of thousands.
Don King has bought several opulent properties throughout his lifetime. And he has sold off most of it over time. Currently, the boxing promoter lives in Paradise, Nevada. It expands over 8,000 square feet of space, worth over $1.8 million.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What happened between Don King and Mike Tyson?
A: Don King and Mike Tyson had a fallout during the end of the boxer’s career. They began to distance themselves when Tyson accused King of stealing from him. He said that the promoter allegedly stole millions from what he had gotten from boxing. As a result, Tyson sued King for $100 million in 1998.
Q: How much did Don King owe Mike Tyson?
A: Mike Tyson has repeatedly stated that Don King and two co-managers stole $100 million from him. And in 1998, the legendary boxer sued the promoter. Eventually, the two agreed on a settlement of $14 million in 2004. Although nowhere near enough of what Tyson claimed King took from him, it was enough. Nowadays, the two seem to be on good terms.
Q: Did Mike Tyson fire Don King from promoting his fights?
A: Mike Tyson distanced himself from the promoter near the end of his career. The boxer accused him of stealing millions alongside two of his co-managers. Although there was no official statement saying he fired King, it’s safe to assume it happened.
Q: What happened to Don King, the boxing promoter?
A: Don King had gotten arrested many times, even serving four years before the governor pardoned him. Aside from that, the iconic boxing promoter has gotten sued by several fighters. These include Muhammad Ali and Mike Tyson, claiming King took some of their earnings. Nowadays, King rarely shows himself in the public eye after his wife of 50 years died in 2010.
Q: What is Don King’s net worth now?
A: Being one of the most successful boxing promoters of all time, Don King holds a massive $150 million net worth. He has promoted legendary fights from some of the best boxers in history. From Muhammad Ali to Sugar Ray Johnson, Don King has solidified his name in the industry.
Q: How did Don King earn his wealth?
A: Don King made most of his money from boxing promotions. Shortly after he was released from jail, King became a boxing promoter. After promoting several fights, his first breakthrough came after he convinced Muhammad Ali to fight in a charity event, raising money for a local hospital.
What is Don King’s net worth? As of 2023, the legendary boxing promoter’s net worth stands at an impressive $150 million. With King hosting one successful boxing event after the other, it’s unsurprising to see him dominate the industry throughout his career.
Besides holding boxing events, Don King also manages tours. Most notably, he worked on Michael Jackson’s Victory Tour. And finally, the boxing promoter also bought a newspaper outlet named “Call and Post,” running it as the editor for several years.
Despite the many lawsuits thrown against him, Don King managed and has preserved his wealth to this day. And though he isn’t in the public eye as much since his wife died in 2010, he’s still growing his wealth over a decade later.
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