Status: Former World Heavyweight champion and 1964 Olympic gold medalist. His final ring record is 32-4-1, 27 KO’s.
Ht: 5-11 1/2 Wt: 215
DOB: January 12, 1944 – November 7 2011 In: Beaufort, South Carolina
Childhood Hero: "My father (Ruben)."
Hobbies/Interests: "CB radios – at one time. Shooting guns, rifles, at targets."
Nicknames: "Billy, Billy Boy – family names."
Early Boxing Memory: "Boxing was on TV every Wednesday and the neighborhood would gather at one place to watch, at our place. The wives played cards on the veranda. And the husbands watched the fights. I used to flicker in front of the TV screen imitating the boxers. I remember one of my father’s neighbors said, This kid will be champ! He’ll become the next Joe Louis. Everybody knew Joe Louis then. I decided to become champ of the world."
Favorite Movies: "Clint Eastwood in The Good The Bad & The Ugly, westerns."
Favorite TV Shows: "Gunsmoke, The Hillbilly Bears."
Musical Tastes: "Bobby Womack, Johnny Taylor, the Blues."
First Job: "Maintenance at Bright Hope Baptist Church in Philadelphia (age 18)."
First Car: "1959 purple Chevy Caprice."
Childhood Ambition: "To be the champ of the world. I used to stuff an old sack with rags and corn husks and put it on a tree. After school, at night I’d hit that sack for an hour."
Favorite Meal: "Shrimp, okra and rice."
Favorite Breakfast Cereal: "Oatmeal."
Favorite Ice Cream Flavor: "Chocolate."
Greatest Sports Moment: "Ali, 1971. The most renowned fight of all time."
Favorite Non-Boxing Sport To Watch: "Football. My mother wouldn’t let me play. She was afraid of it."
Favorite Fights: "Jack Dempsey-Gene Tunney I, Ray Leonard-Thomas Hearns I, Joe Louis-Max Schmeling."
Funniest Boxers Encountered: "Emile Griffith, Kenny Norton."
Closest Friends From Boxing: "Ken Norton, Larry Holmes, George Foreman."
Toughest Opponent: "The most difficult for me was George Foreman. He was huge, powerful."
Favorite Vacation Spot: "Atlantic City, N.J."
People Most Admired: "My father, mother (Dolly), the Lord."
Future Ambition: "Live, and be able to help people."
Family: Sons, Marvis, Hector, Ruben, Derrick, Brandon, Joseph; daughters, Rene, Jacquelyn, Weatta, Jonetta, Natasha.