George Foreman is one of America’s most popular sports icons of all time. He’s had a fascinating career, spanning several decades and industries that run the gamut from boxing to entrepreneurship. On top of his professional accomplishments, Foreman has also had a compelling personal life packed with triumph and hardship.
Foreman first entered the public eye in 1968 when he won the gold medal for heavyweight boxing at the 1968 Mexico City Olympic Games. He went pro in 1969, quickly rising up the professional boxing ranks. During his career, he had 81 professional matches and won 76 of them, with 68 wins by knockout. During that time, Foreman fought against many legendary boxers, but his most famous was 1974’s “Rumble in the Jungle.” This fight saw him lose to Muhammad Ali in a match that is widely considered to be a boxing classic.
In 1977, Foreman became a born-again Christian after a near-death experience led him to step away from the ring for nearly 10 years and focus on charity work instead. He didn’t fight again until 1987, and when he returned, he went on another dominant run, even winning the World Championship once more. During that time, Foreman became the face of many products including the now-legendary George Foreman Grill. This revolutionary kitchen product cemented Foreman’s place at the forefront of popular culture.
There’s no doubt that Foreman is a complete success story, but one of the more frequently asked questions about him is how many children the boxing legend has.
How many children does George Foreman have?
Foreman has been married a whopping five times over the course of his life. His first wife was Adrienne Calhoun, who he was married to from 1971 to 1974. After divorcing Calhoun, Foreman remained unmarried until 1977, when he married Cynthia Lewis. When that relationship ended in 1979, Foreman remained single for a few years before marrying Sharon Goodson in 1981. However, this union was also short-lived, as Foreman married Andrea Skeete in 1982. In 1985, Foreman married his current wife, Mary Joan Martelly.
Across these relationships, Foreman has had 10 biological children: five boys and five girls. On top of this, he also adopted two daughters, meaning that Foreman has 12 children altogether.
Foreman’s daughters are named Courtney, Freeda, Georgetta, Isabella, Leola, Michi, and Natalia. Despite this lovely assortment of names, it’s Foreman’s sons who get the most attention. This is because Foreman’s sons are all named George, usually with an added nickname. For example, there’s George Jr., “Monk” George III, “Big Wheel” George IV, “Red” George V, and “Little Joey” George VI.
Amusingly, in a 2009 interview with the Los Angeles Times, Foreman explained that George V was nicknamed “Red” ⏤ a tongue-in-cheek stoplight reference ⏤ because Foreman and his wife had decided not to have any more children. This nickname didn’t go as planned, however, as the couple had one more son after George V.
Why are all of George Foreman’s sons called George?
While it’s not uncommon for families to have at least one child who bears his father’s namesake, it is rare for every son in a single clan to share the same name. George has explained this decision in his various interviews and books. In fact, on his official website’s “Did You Know” section, George dedicates one part to explaining the names of his sons.
“I named all my sons George Edward Foreman so they would always have something in common. I say to them, ‘If one of us goes up, then we all go up together. And if one goes down, we all go down together!'”