Mike Tyson Biography

Mike Tyson photo

Born: June 30, 1966


Date of Birth: June 30, 1966

Michael Tyson was born in Brooklyn, New York to father Jimmy Kirkpatrick and mother Lorna Tyson. When Michael was two years old, Jimmy decided to leave Lorna and her three children. The family began to struggle financially and had to make some adjustments. Lorna packed up the children and the family moved to Brownsville, Brooklyn, an area with a high crime rate.

As Michael grew up he was a very small and quiet child. Bullies often picked on him and little Tyson needed to find ways to stop them. He quickly developed the skill of street fighting. When he was young an older teenager took one of his pet pigeons and twisted the head until it snapped. Furious, Mike attacked the older teen and beat him up. The violent behavior he had shown quickly got around and made a reputation for him. That exact reputation lead an 11-year-old Michael to join a dangerous gang known as the Jolly Stompers.

Jolly Stompers were a local gang that specialized in mugging, robberies, and burglaries. Mike's job was to clean out resisters while other gang members held victims at gunpoint. By the time he had reached the age of 13 he had been arrested more than 30 times. His behavior landed him in an all boys reform school known as Tryon School for Boys, where a counselor named Bob Stewart taught him to box in a ring.

Sources say Stewart felt Tyson had potential in the boxing industry and that prompted him to introduce legendary boxing manager Constantine D'Amato to Tyson. D'Amato ended up taking Tyson under his wing, entering him into amateur boxing matches and acting as a father towards him. When Tyson was expelled from Catskill High (a high school D'Amato enrolled him) for violent behavior, D'Amato decided to have Tyson train for the 1984 Olympics. Though he didn't make the Olympic team, D'Amato still felt he needed to turn his boxing skills into a career.

In March of 1985, 18-year-old Tyson made his professional debut by knocking out Hector Mercedes in round one at the Albany in New York. By the time Tyson was 20 years old he had become the youngest heavyweight champion in history. In March 1987 Tyson defeated James Smith and became the World Boxing Association (WBA) champion. Tyson continued to box and on August 1st he won International Boxing Federation (IBF) title being the first heavyweight champion to own all three major boxing belts.

Tyson has been married three times and has a total of eight children from his wives and a number of girlfriends. In 1992 Tyson was imprisoned after being convicted for raping an 18-year-old year girl. He was sentenced to ten years—six in prison and four on probation—however, he was released in 1995 after serving only three years.

After being released from prison Tyson fought in several boxing matches Winning the WBC and WBA. Tyson was then stripped from the WBC title and lost the WBA crown to Evander HolyField in 1996. In 1997 he rematched Holyfield but was quickly disqualified after biting off part of his opponent's ear. In 2002 he fought Lennox Lewis for the World Heavyweight Title but lost. He then retired in 2006 after being knocked out in several matches.

In 2009 Tyson's four-year-old daughter Exodus was pronounced dead after being found dangling from a treadmill cable located in her home.


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