He’s a legendary figure in the world of boxing and beyond; a two-time world heavyweight champion and Olympic gold medalist. But George Foreman’s net worth is due to his remarkable ability to sell…well, almost anything!
Earning the nickname “Big George” he served as an executive producer on the sports biopic Big George Foreman, which hit cinemas on April 28, 2023. “The movie is really about Hollywood. There’s so many things that were taken out of the movie, and you know what, I wish that had been taken out of my life as well,” he told Screenrant. “When you come from such little… like I’ve told everybody all day, I didn’t have hope. Can you imagine living in this life without hope? I did, that way. I didn’t find hope until later on in life. [For] those who don’t have hope, if they can see my life, they’ll realize they can do anything.”
As of 2023, George Foreman’s net worth is estimated to be $300 million, per Celebrity Net Worth, which is a far cry from his very modest upbringing. Foreman was born in Marshall, Texas, in 1949. He grew up in a poor household and had a troubled childhood. However, he found solace in boxing and quickly excelled in the sport, and in 1968, he won a gold medal at the Olympics in Mexico City.
Over the next decade, Foreman became one of the most dominant boxers in the world. He won his first world heavyweight championship in 1973 when he defeated Joe Frazier. However, his reign was short-lived, as he lost the title to Muhammad Ali in the famous “Rumble in the Jungle” fight in 1974. Foreman continued to box for several more years, but his career took a hiatus in 1977 when he became a born-again Christian and decided to retire from the sport.
During his time away from boxing, Foreman focused on other aspects of his life, including his family and his faith, deciding to become a preacher at his local church. That, according to Foreman in an interview with Forbes in 2019, is when he realized he could make a good salesman. “I had overalls on,” Foreman said. “I had cut off my afro, and my mustache was gone. People passed me by and didn’t give me a blink. They didn’t know who I was, and they didn’t care. So I started selling myself, telling people I was part of the ‘rope a dope’ [his knockout loss to Muhammad Ali, which just passed its 45-year anniversary] and that I had fought Joe Frazier. People would stop for two minutes to listen to me preach. Then they would stop for five minutes. Then they would stop for 15 minutes, and that’s when I knew I could sell.”
It was at this time that he began to explore business opportunities, returning to boxing after losing his fortune and barely avoiding bankruptcy thanks to a series of bad investments. “I lost all my money, and when you lose your money, you think you’re done. I was only fractions, fractions away from being homeless,” he recalled in David Heenan’s book Leaving on Top: Graceful Exits for Leaders.
He was out of shape but wanted to win another heavyweight championship. All he had to do was convince the buying public it could happen. Thanks to his outgoing personality and salesmanship, Foreman convinced HBO to approve him as an opponent for heavyweight champion Michael Moorer in 1994. He was an underdog for sure; trailing the scorecards with each round until the 10th, when Foreman caught Moorer on the tip of his chin, knocking him to the ground. Foreman was the victor and advertising agencies began ringing off the hook.
“They’re calling me day and night. I was selling myself so successfully that they said, ‘Let him sell our stuff,’” Foreman told Forbes, adding: “These people came to me and said they wanted to go in on a joint venture with me for the grill. I didn’t have any idea it would sell. Next thing you know, I had sold 500. Then 5,000. Then we sold 5 million of those things. If I told you that I could see that coming, I’d be lying.”
This was the birth of his famous George Foreman Grill. First introduced in 1994, it quickly became a sensation. It was marketed as a healthier alternative to traditional grilling methods, and it was endorsed by the sporting legend himself. The success of the grill was unprecedented, and it quickly became a best-seller. In fact, by 2009, it was estimated that more than 100 million units had been sold worldwide.
“When I came back to boxing, I had to sell a middle-aged man who could become heavyweight champion of the world,” Foreman said. “Nobody was buying it. But I kept selling it.” In 2014, he was quoted as saying he made as much as $8 million per month for his share in the grill’s profits.
But that was just the beginning of Foreman’s business ventures. He went on to launch a line of cleaning products, as well as a clothing line and a line of personal care products. He also became a spokesperson for various brands, including Meineke, KFC, and Nike.
In addition to his business ventures, George Foreman has also become a successful author and television personality. He has written several books, including his autobiography, By George, and his cookbook, George Foreman’s Indoor Grilling Made Easy. He has also appeared on numerous television shows, including his own reality show, Family Foreman.
Foreman is retired from boxing, but he remains an active businessman and public figure. He continues to make appearances and endorsements, and he is also involved in various philanthropic efforts. He has supported numerous charities over the years, including the George Foreman Youth and Community Center, which provides programs and services to at-risk youth in Houston, Texas.
See what all the fuss is about with the George Foreman electric grill and panini press, which comes with removable plates that you can take out and put in the dishwasher. The non-stick coating is durable, easy to clean, and removes the need for butter and oil
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