Prior to becoming the fifth wife of professional heavyweight boxer George Foreman, who was at the time best known for having won Gold at the 1968 Summer Olympics and partaken in The Rumble in the Jungle fight with Muhammad Ali, practically nothing was known about Mary Joan Martelly. The St. Lucian has still managed to keep things the same way as she has mostly taken a backseat role to the affairs of her husband. Read on to find out all we have been able to discover about her life.
Mary Joan Martelly’s Bio
Mary Joan Martelly’s date of birth is not known to the public, however, she is known to have been born in the Eastern Caribbean island nation of St. Lucia, specifically in the village of Mon Repos. Details about her family and early life are few and far between. While it is said that she is the third of six children, the identities of her parents are not known.
As a young girl, Mary Joan had a huge interest in sports. She is said to have been a part of an unspecified sports team in school, hoping to someday make it as a professional. This, however, did not turn out to be the case as she ended up having to find work to make ends meet due to the death of her father. She is said to have worked at both a factory and a restaurant in her home country before later moving to the United States to work as a nanny.
Not much was subsequently known about her stay in the United States until she met and began dating George Foreman.
Mary Joan Martelly’s Family – Kids
Following four failed attempts at marriage, George Foreman married his fifth wife, Mary Joan Martelly, on the 27th of March, 1985, the same year in which his marriage to his fourth wife, Andrea Skeete, came to an end. Reports have it that Foreman and Martelly began dating while he was still legally married to his former wife. They dated for about a year before deciding to exchange marital vows after his divorce.
Together, the pair welcomed five children to the world. They are daughters – Leola and Natalie, and sons – George IV, also known as Big Wheel; George V, also known as Red; and George VI, also known as Little Joey. Foreman has seven other children; five from his previous marriages and two adopted. His other biological children are sons – George Jr. and George III, and daughters are Michi, Freeda, and Georgetta while his adopted ones are Isabella Brenda Lilja Foreman and Courtney Isaac Foreman.
Not much is known about the family as Mary Joan Martelly, her husband, and children have chosen to live a relatively low life away from the prying eyes of the media. In 2008, however, they famously appeared on the six-episode long family-based reality show called Family Foreman, which chronicled Foreman’s life as both a boxer and a father.
Other Facts About George Foreman’s Wife
1. Some of Mary Joan Martelly’s stepchildren have followed in their father’s footsteps to have careers in boxing. Her stepson George Foreman III, better known as Monk, and stepdaughter Freeda Foreman were both professional boxers.
Monk, who was born on the 23rd of January, 1983, was famous for having accompanied his father and sat ringside while he was working as a color commentator. He later got involved in the sport in his early teen years, and by 2009, launched a heavyweight boxing career that lasted for 3 years. In his boxing career, he was able to amass a perfect 16-0 record before retiring to start a career in business.
Mary Joan’s other stepchild that stepped into the ring, Freeda, enjoyed a 5-1 record before retiring in 2001 in order to spend time with her family. In 2019, Freeda was in the news after she was found dead in her Houston-area home. According to the coroner’s report, her cause of death was asphyxia by hanging.
2. Mary Joan Martelly has been involved with various charities, specifically those involved in AIDS awareness campaigns. She and her husband have worked extensively in spreading awareness about AIDS in children and also campaigned for the prevention of pediatric AIDS.
3. In 2004, George Foreman surprised the whole world when he announced that he wanted to make a comeback to boxing. The former heavyweight champion, who was 55 years of age at the time, said the main reason he was looking to make a comeback was so that he could prove that his age was not a stumbling block.
According to unspecified reports, Foreman had lined up Jamaican Canadian boxer Trevor Berbick as his opponent, however, the fight never got to happen. It was widely speculated that May Joan Martelly was the main reason as to why it did not materialize, seeing that she stood firmly against the whole idea.