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Supportive wife of George Foreman who’s helped boxing icon settle



The saying “behind every great man is a supportive woman” speaks very well for Mary Joan Martelly, the wife of the legendary former boxing champion, George Foreman. While she did not come into his life as his first wife, Martelly has proven over the years to be the right choice for the iconic boxer.

Martelly has played an important role in the success story of Foreman. Though she is rarely spoken of in the media, her role in the boxer’s life does not go unnoticed.

Mary Joan Martelly’s biography

Mary Joan Martelly

Mary Joan Martelly was born on May 17, 1963, in Mon Repos, a town on the Caribbean island of St. Lucia. She is most notably recognised as the wife of former professional boxer and Olympic gold medalist, George Foreman. The couple has enjoyed a long-lasting marriage that has spanned over three decades.

Martelly hails from a family of seven girls and two boys. Her father’s untimely passing at the age of 44 placed the family in financial distress, necessitating her and her siblings to work various odd jobs.

Martelly is not quite a known figure, in contrast to her husband, George Foreman, who is a well-known personality. Despite her preference for a quiet life, Martelly has periodically provided details about her past.

She is of African-American descent. In addition, Martelly is known for her distinct physical attributes. She has a well-maintained physique, with a weight of approximately 58 kilogrammes (128 pounds) and stands 5 feet and 3 inches tall.

Martelly has always had a strong desire to lead a quiet, isolated life. Her little exposure to the media demonstrated her reluctance to embrace the spotlight. One notable instance was Martelly’s brief appearance with her family in the 2008 reality show, “Family Foreman”. She subsequently said that she did not enjoy the attention of the public.

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Mary Joan Martelly’s career

Martelly has dabbled in a variety of small-scale jobs in the past. Martelly and her siblings are said to have taken on odd occupations to support themselves after losing their father. Initially, she got a job at a restaurant before later getting hired to work in a clothing factory. She then proceeded to work as a nanny, which was around the time she met Foreman.

Martelly has been actively involved in philanthropic endeavours, particularly related to AIDS awareness campaigns. She, along with her husband, has volunteered extensively to raise awareness about AIDS in children. Their efforts have been focused on both their local community in Houston and in St. Lucia, respectively.

Martelly and Foreman’s philanthropic work reached a notable milestone when they were jointly honoured at the ‘A World of Friends Fighting AIDS’ event in 2007 for their significant contributions to the campaign.

Mary Joan Martelly’s net worth

Martelly’s net worth, as reported by several sources, is estimated to be approximately $1.4 million.

Mary Joan Martelly’s family

Mary Joan Martelly with her family

Martelly was born into a typical Cariban household, where family values and close-knit bonds held great importance. She is the third child of seven girls and two boys within her family. While specific details about her parents’ names are not publicly known, the large and tightly-knit group of siblings formed the foundation of her early life.

However, her most prominent familial connection emerged with her marriage to George Foreman, a former professional boxer and Olympic gold medalist, in 1985. This union marked a significant chapter in her life. Together, Martelly and Foreman have been blessed with five children.

Remarkably, Foreman named all his sons “George Edward Foreman” to emphasise their common bond. As he explained: “If one of us goes up, then we all go up together, and if one goes down, we all go down together.”

In total, Foreman has twelve children: five sons and seven daughters. His seven daughters are Natalia, Leola, Freeda, Michi, Georgetta, Isabella and Courtney. Natalia and Leola are from his marriage to Martelly. His daughters from separate relationships were Freeda, Michi and Georgetta. George also adopted a daughter, Isabella Brandie Lilja (Foreman), in 2009 and another, Courtney Isaac (Foreman), in 2012.

Mary Joan Martelly and George Foreman

Mary Joan Martelly and George Foreman

Martelly has shared a remarkable journey with her husband, George Foreman. However, to fully understand their relationship, it’s important to delve into Foreman’s prior marriages and family history.

Before his current marriage, Foreman had experienced four previous marriages before he tied the knot with Martelly.

His first marriage was to Adrienne Calhoun in 1971, but it was relatively short-lived and ended in 1974. The second marriage was to beauty queen Cynthia Lewis in 1977. However, like his first marriage, this union lasted only a brief period and concluded in 1979.

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Foreman’s third marriage took place in 1981 with Sharon Goodson, but unfortunately, this marriage also ended within a year in 1982.

His fourth marriage occurred in 1982, with Andrea Skeete. However, this marriage, like the previous ones, concluded in 1985.

Martelly and Foreman’s love story began under unique circumstances. At the time, Foreman was in the midst of a custody battle with his fourth wife, Andrea Skeete. This legal dispute reportedly brought Martelly to the United States, where she was set to testify on Foreman’s behalf.

As fate would have it, during this trying period, a deeper connection blossomed between the pair. They began a romantic relationship, leading to a decision that would change their lives forever—marriage.

Their marriage, which took place on March 27, 1985, marked a significant chapter in the couple’s life.

While Foreman is well-known for his boxing career and his larger-than-life personality, his marriage to Martelly is one that isn’t much in the news due to her choice to live a quiet and simple life out of the public eye. Regardless of her not being in the spotlight like her famous husband, Martelly has always been instrumental in playing a supportive role for the former world champion in several joint endeavours.

 George Foreman

Throughout their journey together, Martelly has consistently stood by Forman’s side, providing support and encouragement. At the time when he made the significant decision to return to the world of professional boxing, despite being considered past his prime at nearly 40 years old, Martelly supported Foreman in his decision to do so.

Foreman’s incredible return to the boxing ring resulted in a remarkable accomplishment—he became the heavyweight champion at the astounding age of 46.

Mary Joan Martelly’s age

Martelly is 60 years old as of 2023. She was born in 1963.

Mary Joan Martelly now

Mary Joan Martelly and George Foreman now

Even though Martelly has recently stepped back from the spotlight, her husband still makes appearances in the media on occasion. She is currently residing in Texas. The couple resides on a vast 40-acre estate in Texas.

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