Michael Jordan Biography, Childhood, Career, Personal Life

Michael Jordan Biography, Childhood, Career, Personal Life
Michael Jordan – Biography and career accomplishments. (Image credit: Andrew D. Bernstein / Getty Images)

Michael Jeffrey Jordan (born February 17, 1963) is a retired American professional basketball player who played in the National Basketball Association (NBA) for 15 seasons. During those 15 seasons in the NBA, Michael Jordan through sheer hard work and an ironclad determination to succeed captured 6 NBA championships. Aside from the championships, Michael Jordan’s impressive basketball prowess, which earned him the admiration of fans, and established him as one of the greatest personality in the sports, earned him individual awards.

Whenever he won, Michael Jordan does it so brilliantly with such exceptional attitude that it was clear beyond any doubt that he is the best, as evidenced by his NBA Final MVP awards. In the six NBA Finals Michael Jordan won, he stood out and thus was awarded the MVP award. His incredible disposition which earned him success on the courts have been carried into the business world after he retired and this, in turn, has brought him similar success. In this article, we’ll review Micheal Jordan’s biography facts, childhood/early life, career and personal life.

Michael Jordan’s Biography Facts, Age, Quick Info

Here are some biography quick facts that you need to know about the American basketball legend.

  • Full Name: Michael Jeffrey Jordan
  • Nicknames: His Airness, Black Cat, MJ, Air Jordan, Black Cat
  • Born: February 17, 1963
  • Age: 57 years old
  • Zodiac Sign: Aquarius
  • Place of Birth: New York City, New York, USA
  • Nationality: American
  • Height: 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m)
  • Weight: 98 kg (216 lb)
  • Education:
    • High School: Emsley A. Laney High School 
    • College: University of North Carolina
  • NBA Draft: 1984 (Round 1; Pick 3) by  Chicago Bulls
  • Position: Shooting guard
  • League: NBA
  • Kit Number: #23, #12, #45
  • Playing Career: 1984–1993, 1995–1998, 2001–2003
  • Parents:
    • Father: James R. Jordan, Sr.
    • Mother: Deloris Jordan
  • Siblings:
    • Brothers: Larry Jordan, James Jordan Jr.
    • Sisters: Roslyn Jordan, Deloris Jordan
  • Wife: Yvette Prieto (married 2013), Juanita Vanoy (married 1989–2006)
  • Children:
    • Sons: Jeffrey Michael Jordan, Marcus Jordan
    • Daughter: Ysabel Jordan, Victoria Jordan, Jasmine M. Jordan

RELATED: Interesting Michael Jordan Facts You Should Know

Michael Jordan’s Early Life & Childhood

Michael Jordan's Childhood Photo
Michael Jordan’s Childhood Photo

Born in Brooklyn, New York, on February 17, 1963, Michael Jeffrey Jordan is one of five children born to his parents — James Jordan and Deloris Jordan. His father, James worked as a General Electric Supervisor while his mother, Deloris, worked in a bank. As a young boy, his father taught him basic etiquettes such as hard work, while his mother instilled in him domestic skills such as sewing and laundry.

Jordan who had an interest in sport from a young age tried playing basketball at Emsley A. Laney High School in his second year, but Jordan who stood at a height of 5 feet, 11 inches was said to be too short and couldn’t play for his high school basketball team.

He, however, went on to play for his school’s junior basketball team, where he recorded several 40 point games. Soon Jordan grew and was given a spot in the maim team where he recorded an average of 25 points in his last two seasons of high school basketball.

In 1981, as a senior in high school, Jordan was invited to the McDonald’s All-American Game, where he performed brilliantly. Following the completion of high school, he received several offers from various universities such as the University of North Carolina, Syracuse University and the University of Virginia. He, however, chose to play for North Carolina.

Michael Jordan’s College Career

In his first season of college basketball, Jordan was instrumental in North Carolina’s NCAA Championship win, and was thus awarded the ACC Freshman of the Year award. He continued in wonderful form which saw him earn the NCAA All-American First Team selection in his second and third year in college.

In his junior year, Jordan’s impressive form earned him the Wooden and Naismith College Basketball Player of the Year awards. Following a brilliant junior year, he made the decision to forgo his final year in college and enlisted in the 1984 NBA Draft where he was selected by the Chicago Bulls as the draft’s third overall pick. In 1986, he returned to college, where he bagged his Bachelor of Arts degree in geography.

Michael Jordan’s Professional Basketball Career & Awards

Chicago Bulls (1984–1993, 1995–1998)

Michael Jordan with the Bulls

In his first season in the NBA, Jordan’s performance made him a fan favourite, which led him to feature in the All-star game. The All-star game in the 1984/85 was controversial, as the established stars were pissed about the attention Jordan was receiving from the fans and thus refused to pass to him. Jordan who seemed not to mind the buzz around him continued in great form and won the Rookie of the year award after averaging 28.2 points.

Jordan could not perform well in his second season due to a fractured foot, which led him to miss 64 games. He however, recovered fully and went on a scoring spree in his third season. That season, saw him emerge as the second of only two players in the history of the NBA, to have recorded 3,000 points in a season. He also recorded 100 blocked shots and 200 steals which made him the first player in the league to record such numbers.

Michael Jordan Slam Dunk Championship
Michael Jordan in action during a Slam Dunk Championship

In his fourth season in the NBA, the 1987/88 season, Jordan topped the scoring charts and also won the Defensive Player of the award. In the 1988/89 and 1989/90 seasons, Jordan led the Bulls to the Eastern Conference finals but was defeated by the Detroit Pistons in both seasons. The 1990/91 season was the beginning of good times in the NBA for Jordan. His performance during the season earned him a second MVP award after he claimed the first in the 1988 season. He also led the Bulls to defeat LA Lakers who had the mighty Magic Johnson in the NBA Finals.

For his performance, Jordan was named the Finals MVP. The following season, he and the Bulls maintained their top form and went on to win the NBA Finals while Jordan was named the NBA Finals MVP as well as the season’s MVP award for a second successive time. In the 1992/93 season, Jordan did not win the NBA MVP but he did win a third successive NBA Championship and set the record of being the first player to ever claim three successive NBA Finals MVP award.

First Retirement

In October 1993, Jordan retired from the NBA. He cited the death of his father as a factor which affected his decision but said his desire to play no more was the major reason for his retirement. It was however rumoured that Michael Jordan’s retirement was a punishment for his involvement in gambling.

Return to the NBA

Chicago Bulls' Michael Jordan holds up the MVP Award
Michael Jordan holds up the MVP trophy which he earned. (Photo credit: TIM CLARY/AFP via Getty Images)

In March 1995, Michael Jordan announced his return to the NBA, with the words, ‘I’m back’. In November 1994, Jordan’s #23 jersey was retired by the Bulls, and though he could use the jersey number, he chose to wear #45. But he later chose to return to his old jersey number which led to the Bulls being fined due to not reporting the change to NBA officials.

In the 1995/96 season, Jordan was back to his old self. He won the NBA MVP, All-star game MVP, the NBA Championship and the NBA Finals MVP awards. The championship win that season was emotional for Jordan due to the fact it was the first championship he won following his father’s murder and the championship was won on father’s day. Jordan was seen crying after the win.

The following season, Jordan did not win the All-star MVP, and NBA MVP, but went on to win the NBA championship and also his fourth NBA Finals MVP. In the 1997/98 season, Jordan was once again on an impressive run as he claimed the NBA MVP, All-star MVP, the NBA Finals MVP and the NBA Championship.

Second Retirement

In January 1999, Michael Jordan retired for the second  time. A year later, he returned to the NBA as co-owner of Basketball franchise, the Washington Wizards. 

Washington Wizards (2001–2003)

Michael Jordan playing for the Wizards
Michael Jordan playing for the Wizards

In September 2001, he returned as a Washington Wizards player and went on to play until April 2003, where he played his final NBA game against the Philadelphia 76ers in front of 21,257 spectators.

Michael Jordan Baseball Career

In February 1994, Michael Jordan signed a deal with the Chicago White Sox to play in the Major League Baseball (MLB). In March 1995, as a result of the MLB strike, he made the decision to retire from baseball.

Michael Jordan’s International Career

Michael Jordan international career is as glamorous as his NBA career. At the 1984 Summer Olympics held in Los Angeles, Jordan who was still in college led the US team in points and picked his first Olympics gold medal. In the 1992 Barcelona Summer Olympics, Jordan who was part of the star-studded Dream team won his second Olympics Gold medal. He also won Gold at the 1983 Caracas Pan American games and the 1992 Portland FIBA America’s Championship. 

Michael Jordan’s Wife, Personal Life & Charity

In 1989, Michael Jordan married Juanita Vanoy, who gave birth to three children for him — two sons and a daughter. In January 2002, they filed for divorce as a result of irreconcilable differences but soon reconciled. But in December 2006, they divorced amicably. Juanita Vanoy received a $168 million settlement. In 2013, he got married to Yvette Prieto, a Cuban model. In February 2014, Prieto gave birth to a set of identical twins named, Victoria and Ysabel.

In July 2006, a court declared that Jordan did not owe his ex-lover Karla Knafel, $5 million over breach of contract after it emerged that he paid her $250,000 to keep their affair a secret.

Between 2001 to 2014, Jordan held the Michael Jordan Celebrity Invitational, a golf tournament, which raised money for charity. Jordan was made The Chief Wish ambassador for the Make-A-Wish Foundation in 2008. As of 2019, Jordan has helped the foundation raise as much as $5 million.

In 1984, Jordan’s Nike, Air Jordan shoes were released and it progressed to become a viral sensation. The brand generated about $1 billion in sales for Nike as revealed by Forbes. Jordan had various endorsement deals with brands such as Gatorade, Nike, McDonald’s, Chevrolet, Wheaties, Coca-Cola and others.

In 2014, following his increased stake in basketball franchise, the Charlotte Hornets, from 80% to 89.5%, he became the first basketball billionaire.

SEE MORE: Biography facts, childhood and personal life of famous basketball stars


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