Michael Jeffrey Jordan , also known by his initials, MJ, is an American former professional basketball player, entrepreneur, and majority owner and chairman of the Charlotte Bobcats. Jordan was born on February 17, 1963. His biography on the National Basketball Association (NBA) website states, “By acclamation, Michael Jordan is the greatest basketball player of all time.” Jordan was one of the most effectively marketed athletes of his generation and was considered instrumental in popularizing the NBA around the world in the 1980s and 1990s.
After a three-season career at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he was a member of the Tar Heels’ national championship team in 1982, Jordan joined the NBA’s Chicago Bulls in 1984. He quickly emerged as a league star, entertaining crowds with his prolific scoring. His leaping ability, illustrated by performing slam dunks from the free throw line in slam dunk contests, earned him the nicknames “Air Jordan” and “His Airness”. He also gained a reputation for being one of the best defensive players in basketball.
In 1991, he won his first NBA championship with the Bulls, and followed that achievement with titles in 1992 and 1993, securing a “three-peat”. Although Jordan abruptly retired from basketball at the beginning of the 1993–94 NBA season to pursue a career in baseball, he rejoined the Bulls in 1995 and led them to three additional championships in 1996, 1997, and 1998, as well as an NBA-record 72 regular-season wins in the 1995–96 NBA season. Jordan retired for a second time in 1999, but returned for two more NBA seasons from 2001 to 2003 as a member of the Washington Wizards.
Jordan’s individual accolades and accomplishments include five Most Valuable Player (MVP) Awards, ten All-NBA First Team designations, nine All-Defensive First Team honors, fourteen NBA All-Star Game appearances, three All-Star Game MVP Awards, ten scoring titles, three steals titles, six NBA Finals MVP Awards, and the 1988 NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award. He holds the NBA records for highest career regular season scoring average and highest career playoff scoring average. In 1999, he was named the greatest North American athlete of the 20th century by ESPN, and was second to Babe Ruth on the Associated Press’s list of athletes of the century. He was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2009.
Jordan is also known for his product endorsements. He fueled the success of Nike’s Air Jordan sneakers, which were introduced in 1985 and remain popular today. Jordan also starred in the 1996 feature film Space Jam as himself. He is the majority owner and head of basketball operations for the NBA’s Charlotte Bobcats, having won a bidding war to buy controlling interest in the team from founding owner Robert L. Johnson.
Jordan is the fourth of five children. He has two older brothers, Larry Jordan and James R. Jordan, Jr., one older sister, Deloris, and a younger sister, Roslyn. Jordan’s brother James retired in 2006 as the Command Sergeant Major of the 35th Signal Brigade of the XVIII Airborne Corps in the U.S. Army.
He married Juanita Vanoy in September 1989, and they have two sons, Jeffrey Michael and Marcus James, and a daughter, Jasmine. Jordan and Vanoy filed for divorce on January 4, 2002, citing irreconcilable differences, but reconciled shortly thereafter. They again filed for divorce and were granted a final decree of dissolution of marriage on December 29, 2006, commenting that the decision was made “mutually and amicably”.It is reported that Juanita received a $168 million settlement, making it the largest celebrity divorce settlement in history at the time on public record.
In 1991, Jordan purchased a lot in Highland Park, Illinois, to build a 56,000 square foot mansion, which was completed four years later. Both of his sons attended Loyola Academy, a private Roman Catholic high school located in Wilmette, Illinois.
Jeffrey graduated as a member of the 2007 graduating class and played his first collegiate basketball game on November 11, 2007, for the University of Illinois. After two seasons, Jeffrey left the Illinois basketball team in 2009. He later rejoined the team for a third season, then received a release to transfer to the University of Central Florida, where Marcus was attending. Marcus transferred to Whitney Young High School after his sophomore year at Loyola Academy and graduated in 2009. He began attending UCF in the fall of 2009, and played three seasons of basketball for the school.
On July 21, 2006, a Cook County, Illinois judge determined that Jordan did not owe his alleged former lover Karla Knafel $5 million.Jordan had allegedly paid Knafel $250,000 to keep their relationship a secret.Knafel claimed Jordan promised her $5 million for remaining silent and agreeing not to file a paternity suit after Knafel learned she was pregnant in 1991. A DNA test showed Jordan was not the father of the child.
He proposed to his longtime girlfriend, Cuban-American model Yvette Prieto, on Christmas Eve, 2011, and they were married on April 27, 2013. Jordan listed his Highland Park mansion for sale in 2012.
Jordan’s private jet features a stripe in Carolina blue, the “Air Jordan” logo on the tail, and references to his career in the identification number.
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