Professional basketball player, Olympic athlete, businessperson, actor. Born on February 17, 1963, in Brooklyn, New York. Considered one of the best basketball players ever, Michael Jordan dominated the sport from the mid-1980s to the late 1990s. He led the Chicago Bulls to six National Basketball Association championships, and earned the NBA’s Most Valuable Player Award five times.
Jordan left college after his junior year to join the NBA. Drafted by the Chicago Bulls, he soon proved himself on the court. He helped the team make it to the playoffs and scored an average of 28.2 points per game that season. For his efforts, Jordan received the NBA Rookie of the Year Award and was selected for the All-Star Game.
In 1985, he finished his bachelor’s degree in geography and continued to play basketball professionally. While his second season was marred by injury, Jordan was breaking new ground on the court during the 1986-1987 season. He became the first player since Wilt Chamberlin to score more than 3,000 points in a single season. The following season, Jordan received his first Most Valuable Player Award from NBA—an honor he would earn four more times in 1991, 1992, 1996, and 1998.
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.
The following 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.
In April 2009, Jordan received one of basketball’s greatest honors: He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Attending the induction ceremony was a bittersweet affair for Jordan because being at the event meant “your basketball career is completely over,” he explained.
While he may not be playing on the court, Jordan remains active in his sport. He became the majority owner of the Charlotte Bobcats in 2010 and serves as the team’s chairman. And improving the team’s less-than-stellar record seems to be Jordan’s number one priority these days. He told ESPN in November 2012 that “I don’t anticipate getting out of this business. My competitive nature is I want to succeed. It’s always been said that when I can’t find a way to do anything, I will find a way to do it.”
Outside of his work with the Charlotte Bobcats, Jordan is involved in a number of business ventures, including several restaurants. He also does a lot for charity, including hosting the annual golf event known as the Michael Jordan Celebrity Invitational.
In 2016, Jordan was presented with a Presidential Medal of Freedom honor by Barack Obama.