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Ken Norton
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Boxer
    (August 9, 1943-September 18, 2013)
    Born in Jacksonville, Illinois
    WBC Heavyweight Champion (March 18-June 9, 1978)
    Pro record: 42 wins (33 by knockout), 7 losses, 1 draw, 1 no contest
    Appeared in the films 'Mandingo' (1975) and 'Drum' (1976) and episodes of 'The A-Team' and 'Knight Rider'
    He became heavyweight champ without a title bout after the WBC stripped Leon Spinks of the title.
    He lost his first title defense to Larry Holmes.
    Since he never won a title fight, he is omitted from some lists of heavyweight champs.
    He turned down the part of Apollo Creed in 'Rocky.'
    As a high school athlete, he placed first in eight track events, prompting Illinois to limit athletes to a maximum of three events at a single meet.
    He attended college on a football scholarship.
    He lost a controverisal title bout to Muhammad Ali that was an 8-7 decision for Ali by the judges but scored unofficially by UPI 8-7 for Norton.
    He was twice named 'Father of the Year' by the Los Angeles Times.
    He suffered a skull fracture in a car accident (1986) and his doctor said he would never walk or talk again. He notes, 'Now I'm talking and walking and I can even chew gum at the same time.'

Credit: C. Fishel


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