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7 Things You Need to Know About Don King

By  Aaron

GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump raised eyebrows when he appeared at a campaign event with famed boxing promoter Don King. King then grabbed furthering headlines by dropping this racial slur:

Here are seven things you need to know about King.

1. King grew up in a ghetto area in Cleveland, OH. King lost his father to a factory explosion at the age of 10, an insurance settlement allowed his family to move to a slightly more affluent area. King raised college money in high school through the “numbers business,” but forwent college when he supposedly “lost a winning betting slip,” and decided to go exclusively into the numbers business.

2. King has killed two people. In 1954, he fatally shot a man identified as Hillary Brown in what was ruled as a “justifiable homicide” because Brown was allegedly attempting to rob King’s gambling house. The other man King killed was Sam Garrett in 1966, who used to work for King. Garrett owed King $600, and their argument in a bar over it quickly escalated into massive fight in which King pummeled Garrett to death. Office Bob Tonne, the first cop to arrive at the scene of the fight described the incident as seeing “a man’s head bouncing off the asphalt pavement like a rubber ball” followed by “another man standing over him with a gun in his right hand, applying another kick to the head,” according to

King was initially convicted of second-degree murder, but the judge lowered his conviction to a “non-negligent manslaughter” conviction, allowing King to receive only four years prison. He later received a full pardon from Ohio Gov. Jim Rhodes, a Republican, for the murder charges. King immersed himself in “literature and philosophy” while in prison.

3. After prison, King eventually established himself as one of the world’s most famous boxing promoters. Through his friend Lloyd Price, King was able to convince legendary boxer Muhammad Ali to agree to exhibition boxing fights to raise money for a local black hospital. This led King to put together the famous 1974 “Rumble In The Jungle” fight held in the African country of Zaire, where Ali took down then-champion George Foreman for the title.

That set the stage for what many consider to the best boxing match ever: the “Thrilla in Manilla” in 1975, where Ali defeated his rival Joe Frazier in the Philippines.

King morphed into the face of boxing as Ali became older and his boxing skills regressed, and promoted other boxers, most notably Mike Tyson. King still does promoting, although he is more behind-the-scenes now.

4. King and Tyson do not get along. Tyson blamed King for his financial woes, alleging that King stole money from him “because he purchased the loyalties of [John] Horne and [Rory] Holloway by enriching them through deals, at Tyson’s expense,” reports The New York Times. Horne and Holloway were Tyson’s managers at one point.

Tyson confronted King and “beat him into the pavement outside a Los Angeles hotel,” according to Complex. Tyson later sued King and won $14 million from him.

“He’s a wretched, slimy, reptilian motherf****r,” Tyson said of King in the movie Tyson. “He would kill his mother for a dollar.”

King later said of Tyson, “He’s poor, and he’s telling lies. Give me $400 million and say you robbed me. I loved Tyson. We made a lot of money together. He threw his away. I kept mine.”

5. King has allegedly engaged in plenty of other shady behavior. His sketchy dealings include:

  • Ties to organized crime figures like John Gotti and Matthew Ianniello.
  • Being sued by plenty of other boxers he has managed, including Larry Holmes for withholding money.
  • Paying off The Ring Magazine “to falsify the track records and rankings of tournament participants.”
  • Being investigated for “tax evasion and jury tampering.”

6. Politically, King has been all over the map. King has described himself as a “Republicrat,” an accurate way to describe his leanings. He was a supporter of President Bill Clinton before becoming an ardent supporter of President George W. Bush before becoming a supporter of President Barack Obama.

King has also had nice things to say about Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, once declaring her to be “a dynamic woman.”

The famed boxing promoter seemed irked that GOP chairman Reince Priebus wouldn’t let him speak at the Republican National Convention “because Reince Priebus is still thinking he don’t like black people.”

And yet King does not appear to be a fan of Black Lives Matter, criticizing them for using “short-term slogans” instead focusing on the heart of the problem.

7. King and Trump have more in common than meets the eye. Consider the fact that:

  • Like King, Trump has also had a myriad of political positions.
  • Trump also has ties to Gotti.
  • They’re both not exactly humble. King once said, “I never cease to amaze myself. I say this humbly.” Does that not sound like something Trump would say?
  • They both have hair that is…noteworthy.

In fact, back in February Rev. Al Sharpton told Politico‘s Glenn Thrush that Trump reminded him of a “white Don King.”

“Both of them are great self-promoters and great at just continuing to talk even if you’re not talking back at ’em,” Sharpton said.

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