Mary Joan Martelly has been married to George Foreman since 1985. Her husband is considered one of the champions of the boxing world. Not only has she been a great partner to him, but she is also a mother of five and a philanthropist who fights for children’s rights to be aware of AIDS.
Early Life of Mary Joan Martelly
Mary Joan was born on the 17th of May, 1963, in Mon Repos, a city located on the island of St. Lucia in the Caribbean Sea. She was the third daughter in a family of eight children, composed of six girls and two boys.
When her dad passed away at the age of 44, it caused a financial strain on the family. To make ends meet, Mary and her siblings had to take on extra work. She had jobs in a restaurant, a clothing manufacturing plant, and as a childcare provider.
From a young age, Mary Joan Martelly had a passion for sports and demonstrated potential as an athlete. She was particularly successful in track and field, snagging several awards in school competitions. Sadly, due to her family’s circumstances, Mary Joan was unable to further her talent or attend college.
Mary Joan Martelly & George Foreman’s Relationship
In 1984, Mary Joan Martelly traveled to Houston, Texas for the purpose of providing testimony in a custody dispute between George Foreman and his fourth wife, Andrea Skeete.
While there, she met George and ended up falling for him, despite his being caught up in a divorce battle. Mary had been employed as a nanny for one of his friends.
George Foreman retired from boxing in 1977 after his iconic fight with Muhammad Ali, known as the “Rumble in the Jungle”. Having become an ordained Christian minister, he was delivering sermons at a church in Houston.
He had five children from his previous marriages – four girls (Michi, Freeda, Georgetta, and Natalie) and one boy (George Jr.).
On March 27, 1985, Mary and George tied the knot in Las Vegas, Nevada. They opted for a modest ceremony, attended by a select few. Afterward, the couple moved to Houston and began to raise a family.
In 1987, George announced his return to the boxing world at the age of 39. He declared his intention to generate funds for his church and youth center, which he had created to support struggling young people. He also stated that he wanted to demonstrate his skill as a boxer once more.
Mary was fully behind George and his ambitions, pushing him to achieve his goal. She kept him motivated and worked hard to take care of their family, which eventually bloomed to six; four boys (George III, George IV, George V, and George VI) and a daughter (Leola).
In 1994, George accomplished an amazing feat when he defeated Michael Moorer in the 10th round to reclaim the world heavyweight title at the age of 45.
Not only did he become the oldest world heavyweight champion ever, but he also became the first boxer to regain the title after more than 20 years.
Mary Joan Martelly was present when George made history by winning and celebrated with him. She supported him through the difficulties that accompany celebrity and wealth.
She advised George to remain humble and to be generous with his finances and his availability. She also urged him to take care of himself and be aware of those who could do him harm.
For many years, Mary Joan Martelly and George have been heavily involved in charitable activities, donating both money and time, with a particular focus on the welfare and education of children.
The organization has made an outstanding effort in the campaign to stop the spread of pediatric AIDS. Their initiatives in Houston and St. Lucia have focused on raising awareness, as well as providing backing for research and treatment of HIV-infected children.
At the “A World of Friends Fighting AIDS” event in 2007, Mary Joan Martelly and George received recognition for their involvement in the campaign. Former President Bill Clinton presented them with an award in appreciation of their kindheartedness and charity.
Mary Joan Martelly’s Net Worth
Mary Joan Martley has kept her personal life out of the public eye. While there is not much known about her job or financial assets, numerous sources have estimated her net worth at around $500 thousand. On the other hand, her husband George Foreman is believed to have a net worth of $300 million.