George Foreman was born in Marshall, Texas and grew up in Houston, Texas.

Foremen’s upbringing had an element of Christianity. He spoke of how his mother would invoke the name of Jesus Christ during hard times.1 But we’re not sure what type of Christianity his family adhered to, or if they were devout.

As an adult, Foreman was on a quest to find religion. He considered Islam because one of his boxing idols, Muhammad Ali, was a Muslim. Also, he looked into Buddhism because he was a fan of David Carradine–a 1970s kung fu film star.2

But it wasn’t until he lost a fight against Jimmy Young in 1977 that Foreman had some sort of nervous breakdown. He says he fell to the floor and had a near-death experience, a scary, dark, lonely near-death experience. He says God spoke to him that moment, saying:

I don’t want your money, I want you.3

He said of the experience:

God…I don’t know…for some reason touched me, an old sinner. There’s a lot of clean men out in the world doing everything right, and He showed me that there’s a living God. Since then I’ve been telling everybody! I don’t care where you come from or what you’re doing, stop it and learn about God and the Bible.4

Ever since, Foreman has been a devout Christian. He started preaching on street corners5 and he’s now a preacher at the The Church of Lord Jesus Christ in Houston.6 Recently, he released a book entitled God in My Corner: A Spiritual Memoir. You can read an excerpt here.

Foreman now uses his dramatic conversion story as an evangelical platform, from which he regularly says things like:

When someone asks me, “Where do you get good advice?” I tell them, “Down on my knees!7

What, no political boxing metaphors?

Foreman takes a rather nuanced perspective on partisan politics. In terms of welfare, austerity and government entitlement, he summed up the differences between conservative and liberal political philosophy quite well:

The conservative heart is that: ‘look, everybody’s not going to be able to get water, we have a drought, some people going to have to get out of line.’ But the liberals soul says: ‘just keep giving and giving, it’ll rain some sooner or later.’8

Foreman went on to say that he somewhat prefers the giving approach, though there might be a need for people to tone down their lifestyles for a short time while times are tough.

If he had to pick a party, Foreman would probably pick Democrat. His one and only financial political contribution was to Walter Mondale for President in 1984.9 Plus, he has praised Democratic president Lyndon Johnson for his contributions to the Civil Rights movement.10

Foreman is a regular guest on Fox News’ political pundit Neil Cavuto’s show, where Cavuto regularly disparages Obama. However, as Cavuto pointed out:

You love this guy [Obama], you’ve never said anything critical of this guy…11

And it’s true, while Cavuto attempts to convince Foreman of Obama’s shortcomings, Foreman regularly defends the man. No official political endorsements from the Foreman camp, but that’s close enough in my book.

  1. Interview: Heavyweight champion George Foreman. Beliefnet. []
  2. Interview with boxing great George Foreman on his spiritual life, Christian faith, forgiveness. Beliefnet. []
  3. The religion of George Foreman, Heavyweight Boxing Champion. Adherents. []
  4. The religion of George Foreman, Heavyweight Boxing Champion. Adherents. []
  5. Interview with boxing great George Foreman on his spiritual life, Christian faith, forgiveness. Beliefnet. []
  6. George Foreman. Big George. []
  7. George Foreman gloves up for religion. Today. []
  8. George Foreman on Politicians Taking on the Tough Decisions. Fox Business. []
  9. George Foreman’s Federal Campaign Contribution Report. Newsmeat. []
  10. George Foreman on President Obama’s Perseverance. Fox Business. []
  11. George Foreman on President Obama’s Perseverance. Fox Business. []