Mike Tyson Biography: The Rise, Fall, & Rebirth of a Champion

Updated On: December 24, 2022

Do you know how Mike Tyson went from broke to ultra-rich, lost it all, and regained it? If not, You must check out this “Mike Tyson Biography” right now!


Mike Tyson Biography Featured

Here’s a rapid-fire question for you:-
Who is known as the baddest man on the planet?

If you are a true boxing fan, you must’ve got the answer. 
It’s none other than the legendary boxer Mike Tyson!

Tyson might be a millionaire right now, but you’ll be shocked to know that he came from an impoverished background.

He went from a gazillion ups and downs. 
These include turning into a millionaire while coming from a low-income family. Further, going to jail and losing all of it, finally achieving success once again.

His story from rags to riches is truly an inspiration for everyone out there who’s trying to achieve massive goals.

Check out this detailed “Mike Tyson Biography” to know everything about him.

Mike Tyson’s Early Years

Michael Gerard Tyson, better known as Mike Tyson or Iron Mike, was born on June 30, 1966, in Fort Green, New York, US.  

In the initial years, the Tyson family wandered from one place to another. The family earlier lived in Bedford Stuyvesant, but when Mike Tyson turned 10, they shifted to Amboy Street in Brownsville Section due to financial constraints.

Tyson’s Family

Mike Tyson’s biological father was “Purcell Tyson,” but he knew “Jimmy Kirkpatrick” as his father.

Jimmy belonged to Grier Town, North Carolina, where he was one of the best baseball players in the neighborhood. He had a son named Jimmie Lee Kirkpatrick. He left his first family in 1959 and met Tyson’s mother in Brooklyn. Further, Jimmy spent most of his time in the pool halls, gambling, roaming on the streets.  
Kirkpatrick left the Tyson family when Tyson was just two years old. 

Tyson’s mother was Lorna Smith Tyson, who took care of the family in the early years, but she also passed away due to cancer when Tyson was 16. 

Mike Tyson had two siblings – one brother named “Rodney” and one sister named “Denise.” Unfortunately, his sister died of a heart attack at the young age of 24 years.

Mike Tyson’s Childhood Struggle

Tyson's childhood

Struggle hit Mike Tyson and his family starting from the day he was born. When Tyson was two years old and his father Jimmy Kirkpatrick left the family, all the family burden came onto the shoulders of Lorna Smith Tyson (Tyson’s mother).
The family became poverty-stricken, and they were moving from one place to another. Even when they finally settled in an urban slum of Brownsville, the living conditions were pathetic. They had no money. The neighborhood was smelly and filled with crime.

Both Tyson’s mother and father were drug addicts. 
He was less than one year old when he tasted alcohol for the first time. His mother fed him liquor and drugs just to make him go to sleep.

Education, Getting Bullied, & Dropping Out of School

As Tyson grew a bit older, he got enrolled in school, but he didn’t make good memories over there.
He was a small fat kid who had acne all over his face, because of which he became the #1 target for bullies in the school. To avoid the bullies, he even went to school late and left quickly when the school was over.

Soon, he got frustrated because of getting picked up every time by the bullies, so he decided to drop out of school.

Mike Tyson’s Sexual Assault

When Mike Tyson was seven years old, he was walking down the street in Brooklyn when an old man kidnapped him. The old man bullied and sexually abused him before Tyson managed to escape.

Tyson never saw that molester again and never told anyone about the abuse for decades because of the fear that Tyson would be judged. He revealed the incident for the first time on “SiriusXM’s Opie Radio show” in 2014.

Mike Tyson’s First Fight in Life Because of His Love for Pigeons 

When Mike Tyson was a kid, pigeons were his first love. He raised a few pigeons at his home. The pigeons gave him a sense of perspective, and he felt peaceful while watching those pigeons.

One day, when Tyson was taking care of his Pigeons, a neighborhood bully came to him and smacked him. Further, he also snatched one of his pigeons, ripped apart the pigeon’s head, and threw blood on him.
Tyson’s blood boiled, and he knocked out the bully.

After being bullied for so long, Tyson fought back for the first time, and he felt excellent that he couldn’t even wait for the next day to do it again. 

So, basically, Tyson’s first fight was over Pigeons. However, it wasn’t the only one.
There was one more incident when Tyson KO’d a binman over one of his favorite pigeons.

Here’s what happened:-
When Tyson was 10, one day, he woke up and saw that one of his favorite pigeons, Julius, had died. He was devastated and decided to use his stickball bat to honor him. 

Further, Tyson left the pigeon’s crate to get something, but he saw a binman dumping the crate into the crusher when he came back. He punched the man impulsively with his right hand, and KO’d him.                  

He Became a Criminal Kid & Got Arrested 38 Times at Age 13

As you can see from the story, Tyson had now dropped out of school, so his primary focus shifted to survival. Also, his neighborhood had a high crime rate.

As Mike Tyson says:-“Can’t go to school no more, can’t get an education, you go to crime.”
Therefore, when left with no other options, he started doing petty crimes and fighting those who made fun of his lisp and high vocal pitch. 

Now you might be thinking of little Tyson as a bold kid, but the truth is, he remarks that he was a wimpy kid who dared to fight because he had guys backing him up.     

You will be shocked to know that police arrested Mike Tyson 38 times before he turned 13.

Mike Tyson Enters Boxing

cus d'mato and kevin ronney

At 13 years of age, Tyson was sent to the “Tryon School for Boys” in Johnstown, New York.

Bobby Stewart, a former boxer and juvenile center counselor, discovered the boxing ability in Mike Tyson. He trained him for a few months and handed him over to Cus D’ Mato. At last, Tyson dropped out of high school and went ahead to pursue boxing.

Kevin Rooney often trained Mike Tyson with the help of Teddy Atlas, but Cus D’ Mato dismissed Teddy Atlas when Tyson turned 15. So, at last, Kevin Rooney became the mentor of the young boxer.

Mike Tyson’s Amateur Boxing Career

Tyson began his boxing journey in 1981 at the age of 15 years.

He won 2 consecutive gold medals in 1981 (defeating Joe Cortez) and 1982 (defeating Kelton Brown) Junior Olympic Games.  

His Mom Passed Away

I never saw my mother happy with me and proud of me for doing something: She only knew me as being a wild kid running the streets, coming home with new clothes that she knew I didn’t pay for. I never got a chance to talk to her or know about her. Professionally, it has no effect, but it’s crushing emotionally and personally.

~Mike Tyson

When Mike Tyson turned 16, his mom passed away because of cancer. After that, Tyson’s manager and trainer, Cus D’ Mato, became his legal guardian and started taking care of him.

Tyson always had the regret that he wasn’t able to know much about his mom or make her feel proud.

Mike Tyson’s Professional Boxing Career & Interesting Life Events

Tyson’s Professional Boxing Journey Started

Mike Tyson started as a professional boxer in the year 1985 when he was 18 years old. 
His match was against Hector Mercedes in Albany, New York, where he won via first-round TKO. After this match, he got named “Iron Mike” & “Kid Dynamite” because of his impressive strength and skills.

Another point to note is that he had a spectacular record of winning 26 out of 28 fights.

Unfortunately, in November 1985, “Cus D’ Mato” passed away right at the beginning of Tyson’s professional career.

But Mike Tyson was unstoppable!

Mike Tyson Earned His First WBC Title

On February 16, 1986, Tyson’s first nationally broadcasted boxing match took place against Jesse Ferguson. He KO’d Ferguson with a right uppercut and won the bout.

On November 22, 1986, Tyson defeated “Trevor Berbick” and earned his first World Boxing Council (WBC) Heavyweight Championship title. By winning this title, he became the youngest heavyweight champion in history.

Became the First Person to Hold Three Boxing Titles Together.

First person with three boxing campionship title

Tyson earned World Boxing Association (WBA) title by defeating James Smith and International Boxing Federation (IBF) title by defeating Tony Tucker in 1987.

Further, he became the only person to hold WBC, WBA, and IBF titles altogether.

Mike Tyson’s Unsuccessful Marriage with Robin Givens.

Mike Tyson married actress Robin Givens on February 7, 1988. Both of them lived in a Bernardsville, New Jersey apartment.

Unfortunately, the marriage was tumultuous from the start.

In an ABC News interview, Robin givens exclaimed that her married life was hell and the worst that she could ever imagine. 
She continued to explain how Tyson screamed at her, threw things at her, and tried to scare her. Further, she added that Michael was a depressive maniac.

At last, the marriage failed, and the couple divorced one year later, on February 14, 1989. 

“Robin Givens” even filed a $125 million defamation lawsuit against Mike Tyson because Tyson’s fans were calling her a “Gold Digger” and labeling her as “the Most Hated Woman in America.” But, as per reports, she didn’t receive anything from the boxer.

In the book “Fire and Fear: The Inside Story of Mike Tyson,” it is written that Robin offended her a lot when they were fighting in Steve Lott’s apartment. So, he punched her and called it the best punch of his entire life.

Awarded with Doctorate.

In 1989, “Central State University” awarded Mike Tyson an honorary doctorate in Human Letters for his positive influence on the younger generation. The school’s president, Arthur Thomas, also appreciated Tyson’s hard work, perseverance, and determination.

Named Himself Baddest Man on the Planet.

By the end of 1989, Mike Tyson also came to be known as “Baddest Man On The Planet.” It was a nickname Tyson gave himself because he was one of the most feared and brutal boxers at that time.  

Mike Tyson Lost His First Bout Against Buster Douglas.

mike vs douglas

Until 1990, Mike Tyson remained unbeatable since the start of his professional boxing career. However, On February 11, 1990, he lost for the first time in his boxing career against Buster Douglas by a four-punch combination of hooks.

Fans were extremely shocked and upset after witnessing Tyson’s unexpected defeat.

Now, you might be wondering, how did Mike Tyson lose to Buster Douglas?

Here are all the perspectives:-

As revealed by Bobby Brown, Tyson and Bobby were in Japan during Bobby’s “Dance Ya Know It Japan tour.” 
Both of them were partying all night with around 12 other Japanese girls. When Bobby insisted Tyson for going to sleep, Tyson, out of over-confidence, replied that he could beat Buster Douglas if he didn’t sleep for five whole weeks.

Here are a few more quick pointers for Mike Tyson’s defeat from Tyson’s perspective:-

  • Drugs.
  • Too much sex.
  • Irregular Training.
  • Sleepless Night Before Fight.
  • He was over-exhausted as he partied too much on the night before the fight.
  • The most significant point, Overconfidence.

Now, after looking at Tyson’s side, here are the reasons for Tyson’s defeat from Buster Douglas’s perspective:-

  • Extensive training before the fight.
  • The death of his mother one week before the fight motivated him.

At last, from Audience’s perspective, the referee “Octavio Meyran” gave more time to Douglas to get up when Tyson grounded him. On the other hand, he gave less time to Tyson to get up when Douglas knocked him down.

Audience Melee Fight Event.

Mike Tyson had a 12 match bout against Donovan “Razor” Ruddock on March 18, 1991. Both the contenders were performing well in the match, and it seemed to be a tough match.
However, referee Richard Steele controversially stopped the bout in the 7th round without consulting Ruddock when Tyson dominated him.

All of it turned into a controversial end, and there was a melee fight between supporters of both sides.

Mike Tyson Rape Case.

18 years old Desiree Washington, the winner of Miss Black Rhode Island in 1991, filed a rape case against Mike Tyson on July 20, 1991. 
Washington exclaimed that she met Tyson at an event. Further, Tyson invited her to his room raped her. She reported the rape case in the emergency room at a methodist hospital. 

She also had two testimonials – her chauffeur, who confirmed that she was in a state of shock post-incident, and a report from the emergency room physician who confirmed that Washington was actually raped.

Tyson denied all the accusations and said that whatever happened between them was consensual, and there wasn’t any pressure from his side.

In a press release, he also stated:-

“There’s a lot of things I could have gone to jail for, and I deserved to go to jail for. But this wasn’t one of them. I didn’t do it, and I will never admit doing it.”

~Mike Tyson 

In the end, due to the lack of adequate proof from Tyson’s side, Tyson lost the case on February 10, 1992, and was sentenced to six years in prison. However, he got out of jail after three years in 1995.

He Opted Islamic Religion in Jail.

Some reports exhibit that Mike Tyson opted for the Islamic religion and turned into a Muslim in jail (between 1992 and 1995). He changed his name to “Malik Abdul Aziz” but went ahead with “Mike Tyson” professionally.

Mike Tyson’s First Comeback.

After being released from prison, in 1995, Mike Tyson was strong as always. His streak of undefeated bouts started once again, and he was able to win matches easily.
The easy wins of Tyson even ignited the criticism that his management was giving him easy opponents for an easy comeback. 

He won back his WBC title from Frank Bruno in March 1996. Further, Tyson also won the WBA title by knocking him out in the first round.

Tyson’s Second Unsuccessful Marriage with Monica Turner.

Mike Tyson had his second marriage with a pediatrician Monica Turner on April 19, 1997. They had two children, Amir and Ramsey. However, the marriage failed once again, and the couple separated on January 14, 2003.

The reason behind the divorce is that Monica Turner accused Tyson of frivolous spending and adultery. At the end of the divorce, Tyson had to pay alimony of $6.5 million to Turner, including the Connecticut mansion deed.

Mike Tyson Bit Off Evander Holyfield’s Ear.

In 1996, Tyson had a fight with Evander Holyfield in which Holyfield won. 

On June 28, 1997, a rematch was organized between both of them. Holyfield was once again dominating Tyson, so Tyson, out of rage, bit Holyfield’s ear in two consecutive rounds. 
As a result, Tyson got disqualified and had to bear the fine of $3 million imposed by the Nevada State Athletic Commission. Further, he got banned from boxing for one and a half years.

Tyson’s Second Arrest.

On August 31, 1998, Mike Tyson had an accident. After the accident, he assaulted two motorists – punched one in the face and kicked the second in the groin. 
On February 5, 1999, the court ordered him to serve one year in Montgomery County jail, two years in probation, pay a fine of $5,000 and undergo 200 hours of community service.

Mike Tyson went Bankrupt.

In August 2003, Mike Tyson officially declared himself bankrupt. He went $23 million in debt because of his lavish spending lifestyle. According to Business Insider, He spent all his money on these places:-

  • Excessive partying.
  • Drugs.
  • Taking care of pet tigers.
  • Marriage settlements. 

Mike Tyson’s Sudden Retirement in 2005.

Tyson had a boxing match against Kevin Mcbride in June 2005. However, he unexpectedly accepted his defeat in the seventh round, which shook the entire boxing world.
He claimed in his biography “Tyson” that he fought Kevin just to pay off his debts. He also stated that he was fed up with boxing and wasn’t in a condition to fight.

So, at last, Tyson officially retired on June 11, 2005, because of his lost passion for boxing.

Mike Tyson’s Post-Retirement Life         

Tyson Entered Hollywood.

In 2008, a documentary named “Tyson” was made about the life of Mike Tyson.

However, 2009 was the year when Tyson gained real recognition in the Hollywood industry. 
His appearance in the movie “The Hangover” changed his life. The success of the movie made him feel like a winner once again. Soon, he started receiving more offers to work in Hollywood movies as well.

Exodus incident & Marriage with KIKI.

Tyson's daughter exodus

On May 26, 2009, Mike Tyson’s four-year-old daughter, Exodus, passed away as she got entangled in a cord from a treadmill and went unconscious.

Eleven days after her death, 43 years old Mike Tyson married his 32 years old girlfriend Lakiha “Kiki” Spicer.

Tyson got what he was looking for, and the couple has been happily married since then. Tyson even remarks on his marriage with “Kiki” that he would’ve committed suicide if she hadn’t come into his life.  

Mike Tyson Turned Into Entrepreneur.

Tyson, after being tired of serious boxing, decided to become a cannabis entrepreneur. As per Tyson, cannabis changed his life for good, both physically & mentally, and he wanted to share it with the people searching for similar relief. 

Here are the ideas that he implemented:-   

Formed Tyson Holistic Holdings (THH) in 2016.

In 2016, Mike Tyson founded a cannabis company “Tyson Holistic Holdings” with co-founder Robert Hickman. 

The business offered marijuana strains, edibles, and other cannabis extracts to the places where the consumption of marijuana is legal.

The business was profitable, and he was earning close to £500K per month!

Revealed Tyson Ranch Plans in 2018.

In 2018, Mike Tyson decided to open up a massive 420 acres cannabis resort named “Tyson Ranch” in Desert Hot Springs, California.

The Tyson Ranch is going to be a heavenly place for all the stoners out there. It would be including the world’s longest lazy river, along with spas, a hotel, a glamping park, and lodges.
Further, annual marijuana and music festivals would also take place in the resort.

Unfortunately, as per GQ, you will be allowed to smoke anywhere in the Tyson Ranch, but marijuana won’t be available to purchase on-site.

Tyson’s Upcoming Cannabis Brand – Tyson 2.0

Mike Tyson, in October 2021, announced another Cannabis brand in collaboration with Columbia Care.
This time, the cannabis products lineup would include flowers, concentrates, beverages, edibles, and pre-rolls.

Mike Tyson Second Comeback Fight (2020)

Mike Tyson (age 53) had an 8 round comeback bout on November 29, 2021, against Roy Jones Jr (age 51). The match took place at the staples center, where both the legends stood well against each other.

It was the second comeback fight of Tyson after the first comeback in 1995.

The result of the bout was an unofficial draw where both the fighter fought 8-full rounds. However, the Twitter boxing experts said that Tyson was a clear winner.

9 Mind-Blowing Facts About Mike Tyson: Forgotten and Rare Information!

Mind blowing facts about mike tyson

End of the Line

Mike Tyson is now living a peaceful life with his wife and children. Now, he is more of an entrepreneur rather than a boxer. 

Undoubtedly, Tyson is considered one of the best boxers in history, and his playstyle is an inspiration for all the upcoming professional boxers. 

He’s been through a lot in life but learned lessons from everything.

He still trains his boxing abilities and goes to the gym. 
Keep a look as you might see Tyson giving random boxing ring appearances in the future as well.

So, it’s time to end the post.
Go ahead and write down your favorite part from Tyson’s biography in the comments below.
Further, If you loved it and got to learn a few lessons from it, make sure to share it with your friends as well. Turn on the notification to stay inspired always.

I’ll see you in the next post!


Ans. Mike Tyson’s age (in 2021) is 55 years.

Ans. As of November 2021, Mike Tyson’s has a whopping net worth of $3 Million. 

Ans. Here’s a list of some of the best Mike Tyson movies and TV shows:-

  1. “Bottoms Up” episode of “Entourage.”
  2. “The Breaks” episode of “Last O.G.”
  3. “To Tell the Truth” Season 5, Episode 11, released on 13 August 2020.
  4. Tyson’s first blockbuster movie – The Hangover
  5. Eighth Season of “How I Met Your Mother.” 
  6. Annual Show “Shark Week.”
  7. 2008 Movie Ip Man 3
  8. 2006 Movie Rocky Balboa.
  9. 1990 Series “Who’s the boss” in which Tyson appeared in the episode Sam Accelerates.
  10. Hangover II (2011) – Sequel of Mike Tyson’s first super hit movie “Hangover.”

Ans. Mike Tyson has a total of 6 tattoos. Here are the locations of tattoos and their meanings:-

  1. The Tribal tattoo on the left side of his face represents Tyson’s warrior status.
  2. Mao Zedong (Chinese leader) tattoo on right bicep, who is Tyson’s new inspiration.
  3. Che Guevara Portrait on ribcage’s left side who is Tyson’s another inspiration.
  4. Ex-wife “Monica Turner’s” tattoo on left forearm.
  5. Dre Drocher’s tattoo on the right forearm symbolizes wisdom, strength, and freedom as per Chinese culture.
  6. Arthur Ashe’s “Days of Grace” tattoo on the right shoulder because Arthur Ashe is his spiritual inspiration.



Varun Pahwa

Varun Pahwa

Hi! I am Varun. I created Uprisehigh for you to share your life story & get answers to all your life problems. As your best friend, I’m committed to inspire you, simplify your life, and help you grow. Let’s stick together on this beautiful life journey, mate!


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