The Jacksonville born championship boxer, known for a his 12-round victory over Muhammad Ali, when he famously broke Ali’s jaw, on March 31, 1973, has died. Kenneth Howard Norton, also known as the Jaw Breaker and Black Hercules passed away in Arizona on September 18 at age 70.
While at Jacksonville High, he was a stellar athlete who won all eight events his track coach placed him in during a single meet. As a result, the Ken Norton Rule was passed limiting athletes to a maximum of three events. He later went to what is now Truman State University on a football scholarship.
He won 42 of his 50 career fights, 33 of them being knock outs. Norton is a 1989 inductee of the World Boxing Hall of Fame, a 1992 inductee of the International Boxing Hall Of Fame, a 2004 inductee into the United States Marine Corps Sports Hall of Fame, and a 2008 inductee into the WBC Hall of Fame. He was awarded the Boxing Writers Association of America J. Niel trophy for “Fighter of the Year” in 1977. Voted Father of The Year in Los Angeles twice, Norton’s son Ken Jr. was the NFL player to win a Super Bowl ring in three consecutive years. In tribute to his father’s boxing career, Ken Norton Jr. would strike a boxing stance in the end zone each time he scored a defensive touchdown and throw a punching combination at the goalpost pad.