NEW YORK – What you may not know about Don King, the self-proclaimed “world’s greatest promoter,” is that he started his career in boxing by putting on a fundraiser to help a cash-starved hospital in Cleveland. After thrilling billions of people around the world with his larger-than-life persona, he is now being honored for his humanitarian efforts over the years by New York College of Health Professions, which will present him with an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters on Sunday, May 6th, at its 2012 Commencement Ceremony. Mr. Don King will become Dr. Don King, and will be the Commencement speaker for New York College, a world leader in holistic health education for more than 30 years. Mr. King joins a notable series of speakers including Shirley MacLaine, Al Roker, Jerry Vale, Nick Bollietieri, and other well known celebrities.
Don King is an American icon. Rarely has anyone come from nothing to completely dominate a sport. He has a legitimate claim to being the greatest promoter in history. Two of his events, the seminal “Rumble in the Jungle” featuring Muhammad Ali and George Foreman from Zaire, and the “Thrilla in Manila” featuring the third and final meeting between Ali and Joe Fraizer, were among the most watched moments on the planet.
Mr. King's entertainment spectacles often overshadow his extensive humanitarian efforts, which are normally conducted with far less fanfare. He established the Don King Foundation, which has donated millions of dollars to worthy causes and organizations. As a self-reminder of the economic hardship he endured growing up, every year Don King gives away thousands of turkeys during the holidays to those who could not afford them.
Mr. King is a longtime supporter of the United Negro College Fund (UNCF), the Martin Luther King Jr. Foundation, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, National Hispanic Scholarship Fund, among other organizations, charities, colleges and hospitals that has made him one of the world's leading philanthropists. He has been bestowed with many honors including Newark, N.J., having declared "Don King Day." The NAACP recognized him with its highest honor, the President's Award, and he received Lifetime Achievement accolades from Grambling State University. Shaw University, the oldest black college in the South, bestowed Mr. King with an honorary doctorate degree and named him to its Board of Trustees. He also recently received the prestigious “Legacy Award” for Outstanding Community Service from Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn, N.Y.
“New York College is proud to have as its Commencement Speaker the world greatest promoter, Mr. Don King,” said Lisa Pamintuan, president of New York College. “Don King is engaging and will captivate the audience during this very special ceremony for our graduating class. The College crossed many milestones in the past year, including our expansion into the New York Metro area with three new sites, and we are extremely proud of our students’ accomplishments. Like Don King, the College remains dedicated in working hard to continually set new standards in our field of expertise. In our case, it is the world of holistic health care and quality education that continues to be the cornerstone of our vision.”
The College will present Mr. King with an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters during the Commencement Ceremony.
“I am deeply honored that the New York College of Health Professions has selected me to take part on such an important day for its graduating class,” said Mr. King. “I look forward to joining in the celebration of the students' academic achievements and hope to inspire them to reach for greatness in their lives, which will certainly include bettering the lives of others through the benefits of holistic health care.”
The Commencement Ceremony will be held at the Melville Marriott Long Island on Sunday, May 6th at 11 am. More than 1,000 people are scheduled to be in attendance.
New York College of Health Professions has a 30-year history of pioneering holistic health care and education, and is the only private institutionally accredited college in this field in the metropolitan area. Its main campus is located in Syosset, Long Island, with three locations in New York City. The College also maintains a 30-acre modern health care facility in the People's Republic of China. The College has one of the largest Holistic Health Clinics that provides to the public affordable treatments in Massage Therapy, Acupuncture, Reflexology and Herbal Medicine.
Additionally, New York College and its community look forward to the utilization of some of its world class portfolio of Intellectual Property, valued at tens of millions of dollars in underdeveloped stage appraisals.