So sad. Ken, the former heavyweight champion who famously broke Muhammad Ali’s jaw passed away on Sept. 18 at the age of 70.
Ken Norton passed away in Arizona after a long career and a battle with declining health after suffering several strokes.
Ken Norton Dies At 70
Ken died on Sept. 18 in a care facility in Arizona after battling a long list of health issues throughout his life, like strokes, a heart attack, cancer, broken bones and a speech impediment from a crash crash in 1986 due to brain injury. He truly was a fighter and battled until the end at the age of 70, survived by 3 children from two marriages and his wife.
Muhammad Ali‘s former business manager Gene Kilroy was saddened of the news, and that Ken is “in heaven now with all the great fighters,” wanting to hear that conversation.”
Ken Norton: Former Heavyweight Champion
Ken broke Muhammad’s jaw in their first fight in 1973, beating him in San Diego, and in a split decision decided that he was the winner. They then fought six months later, and then it was Muhammad’s turn to win by split decision, and then lost to Muhammad, 71, for a second time later on.
Nicknamed “The Fighting Marine” and “Jaw Breaker,” Ken was named the World Boxing Council heavyweight champion in 1978. He was also inducted into the the San Diego Hall of Champions, the Marine Corps Sports Hall of Fame, and the California Sports Hall of Fame.
He also had a number of film and TV appearances. He was in the 1975 film Mandingo, and was on TV shows Knight Rider and The A-Team.
Ken was also most recently in the film The Man Who Came Back in 2008 with Billy Zane.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to Ken’s family and friends at this time.
— Ivy Jacobson