- NAME: Michael Jordan
- OCCUPATION: Basketball Player
- BIRTH DATE: February 17, 1963 (Age: 51)
- EDUCATION: Emsley A. Laney High School, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Brooklyn, New York
- Full Name: Michael Jeffrey Jordan
- AKA: Michael Jordan
- Nickname: "Air Jordan"
- Nickname: "Black Cat"
- Nickname: "MJ"
- Nickname: "His Airness"
- ZODIAC SIGN: Aquarius
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Michael Jordan is a former American basketball player who led the Bulls to six national championships and earned the NBA Most Valuable Player Award five times.
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He eventually landed several endorsement deals with such companies as Nike, which further pushed him into the spotlight.
In 1992, the Chicago Bulls beat the Portland Trail Blazers to win their second NBA championship title. The team took their third championship the following year, dominating in the basketball world. Jordan, however, had other things on his mind. He lost his father, James,
to an act of violence after the end of the 1992-93 season. Two teenagers shot James Jordan during an apparent robbery and were later convicted of the crime. In a move that shocked many, Michael Jordan decided to retire from basketball to pursue baseball. He played for a minor league team, the Birmingham Barons, as an outfielder for a year.
In March 1995, however, Jordan returned to the basketball court. He rejoined the Chicago Bulls and eventually helped them win the championship against the Seattle Sonics in the 1995-96 season. That same year, Jordan made a big splash in another arena—film—as the star of Space Jam (1996). The film mixed live action and animation and paired Jordan with cartoon legends Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck on screen.
Thefollowing season Jordan came back even stronger, averaging 30.4 points per game. Starting all 82 games that season, he helped the team finish the regular season with 72 wins and clinch a win in the NBA Finals against the Utah Jazz. The two teams faced each other again for the championships in 1998, and Jordan helped the Bulls beat them for the second year in a row.
Retiring after the 1997-98 season, Jordan did not stray from the sport for too long. He joined the Washington Wizards as a part owner and as president of basketball operations. In the fall of 2001, Jordan relinquished these roles to return the court once more. He played for the Wizards for two seasons before hanging up his jersey for good in 2003.
In 2006, Jordan bought a share of the Charlotte Bobcats and joined the team's executive ranks as its managing member of basketball operations. He experienced some personal changes that same year, ending his 17-year marriage to wife Juanita Vanoy. The couple divorced in December 2006. They had three children together during the course of their marriage: Jeffrey, Marcus and Jasmine.
The following year, Michael Jordan made news—this time as the father of an up-and-coming college basketball player. His eldest son, Jeffrey Jordan, made the team at the University of Illinois. Both Michael Jordan and his ex-wife Juanita have supported their son and tried to help him deal with playing in the shadow of a NBA legend. "He wants to be a basketball player, but he wants to do it on his own terms ...The thing that we have tried to tell Jeff is that you set your own expectations. By no means in this world can you ever live up someone else's expectations of who you are," Michael Jordan said during an appearance on the Today show.
In April 2009, Jordan received one of basketball's greatest honors: He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
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With innovative ideas and charismatic personalities, many African-Americans have made lasting contributions to the country, while also earning millions. Oprah Winfrey emerged as a world-famous one-woman brand with her show, eventually becoming the world's first black billionaire. Robert L. Johnson started BET, the cable channel geared towards African-Americans. Athlete Michael Jordan turned into a household name through numerous endorsement deals. These people were among the first African-Americans to overcome the obstacles of discrimination and achieve top honors in their fields. With talent and determination, each one reinvented not only what it meant to be an African-American, but also what it meant to be an American.
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