George was one of America’s most-loved professional boxers, but his incredible career has seen him become a successful author, an ordained Baptist minister, and an entrepreneur–with his name being associated with a world-famous piece of cooking equipment: the George Foreman Grill. He is a two-time former World Heavyweight Champion and Olympic gold medalist.
A gold medalist at the 1968 Olympics, George won the world heavyweight title with a second round knockout of then-undefeated Joe Frazier in Kingston, Jamaica in 1973.
He made two successful title defenses before losing to Muhammad Ali in “The Rumble in the Jungle” in 1974. He fought on but was unable to secure another title shot and retired following a loss to Jimmy Young in 1977 and became an ordained Christian minister.
Ten years later George announced a comeback, and in November 1994, at age 45, he regained the heavyweight championship. He remains the oldest heavyweight champion in history. He retired in 1997 at the age of 48, with a final record of 76-5, including 68 knockouts.
When Foreman came back from retirement he argued that his success was due to his healthy eating, which made him a perfect fit for Russell Hobbs Inc., who were looking for a spokesperson for their fat-reducing grill. The George Foreman Grill has resulted in sales of over 100 million units since it was first launched, a feat achieved in a little over 15 years. Although Foreman has never confirmed exactly how much he has earned from the endorsement, it is known that Salton Inc paid him $137 million in 1999, in order to buy out the right to use his name. Previous to that he was being paid about 40% of the profits on each grill sold (earning him $4.5 million a month in payouts at its peak) so it is estimated he has made a total of over $200 million from the endorsement, a sum that is substantially more than he earned as a boxer.
George has been inducted into the World Boxing Hall of Fame and the International Boxing Hall of Fame. He was a ringside analyst for HBO’s boxing coverage for twelve years, leaving in 2004.
The International Boxing Research Organization (IBRO) rates Foreman as the eighth greatest heavyweight of all-time. In 2002, he was named one of the 25 greatest fighters of the past 80 years by The Ring magazine. The Ring ranked him as the 9th greatest puncher of all-time.
Outside of boxing, he is a successful entrepreneur and is known for his promotion of the George Foreman Grill, resulting in sales of over 100 million units since it was first launched. He’s a lean mean product endorsing machine.