Mary Joan Martelly: George Foreman’s Fifth Wife, Met Him as a Nanny in the US, Still Married to Him for Nearly 40 Years

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They say behind every champ is a greater champ cheering them on.

That couldn’t be truer for George Foreman and his better half, Mary Joan Martelly. A big part of the boxing legend’s success is thanks to this woman.

Mary Joan is the real heavyweight, raising their vast family and ensuring her man has the support to keep pushing forward. But she’s more than just a fighter’s wife—she makes the world better through her charitable work.

This is the story of Mary Joan Martelly, beloved wife, mother, philanthropist, and the true champion of their family!

Mary Joan Martelly: Early Life and Background

George Foreman

Mary Joan Martelly’s story starts on the gorgeous island of St. Lucia, where she grew up surrounded by the Caribbean’s vibrant culture. She came from a big family with six sisters and two brothers.

She was quite an athlete at a young age. However, despite her talent, opportunities were limited, which didn’t lead her to college.

Her dad passed away when she was still pretty young, which threw a curveball at the Martelly family. At just 44 years old, he left Mary Joan and her siblings to pick up the pieces.

Mary Joan paid her dues by working at restaurants and clothing factories. She then found a job as a nanny, which was the luckiest break in her life.

Why? Because that’s how she met her future husband—the legendary George “Big Guy” Foreman himself!

Meeting George Foreman

Meeting George Foreman

It was the early 1980s, and George had a particularly rough patch. He was in the middle of an ugly custody battle with his fourth wife, Andrea Skeete.

Having multiple kids caught in the crossfire of a scorned ex-spouse fight is already heavy enough. However, for a public figure like George, that drama played out for the whole world to see and judge.

Little did he know, his salvation came from a caring, no-nonsense Caribbean stunner named Mary Joan!

Mary Joan had moved to the United States to work as a nanny. Eventually, they crossed paths at a born-again Christian church where George was an ordained minister.

At that time, George was already a well-known figure in the boxing world. However, he’d hung up his gloves and surrendered his life to God after a close call in the ring.

When George met Mary Joan, her calm, nurturing spirit instantly calmed the raging storm that was his life at the time.

Marriage and Family Life

Mary Joan Martelly and George Foreman's marriage

Mary Joan Martelly and George Foreman’s marriage is no fairytale romance—it’s a rocky road to wedded bliss! Mary Joan is already wife number five of the former champ.

But even though George had been down that aisle a few times before, there was something special about Mary Joan. She brought a sense of calm and stability that George’s life was desperately missing.

They tied the knot in 1985 and raised five children together: George Foreman VI, Leola Foreman, Natalie Foreman, George Foreman IV, and George Foreman V. They also adopted Isabella Brandie Lilja and Courtney Isaac, making their home an even fuller house.

Handling a big family is never easy, but Mary Joan’s nurturing spirit and George’s dedication have made it work. Despite George’s demanding career and public life, Mary Joan has always been the rock that anchors their household.

Speaking of public life, that’s one aspect Mary Joan isn’t too keen on. She clarified that when she briefly appeared in the 2008 reality series Family Foreman episode.

Mary Joan Martelly’s Role in George Foreman’s Boxing Career

George Foreman's Boxing Career

When George decided to make that crazy comeback in his 40s, everyone thought he’d lost his mind. He was far from fighting shape after ten years of being out of the ring!

While everybody was writing off George as an over-the-hill has-been, Mary Joan never stopped believing.

Preaching is no lucrative career, as noble as saving souls may be. He no longer had the millions from his boxing days.

With his humble preacher’s salary, his youth center in Houston was running on fumes. He realized the only way to keep it afloat was to lace up the gloves again.

Mary Joan’s faith in George was untouchable. She stood by his side every step of the way through the intense training and media scrutiny.

With Mary Joan’s unwavering support, George was motivated to make a comeback and make history!

At 45, George became the oldest heavyweight boxing champ after knocking out a much younger and then-undefeated Michael Moorer.

Mary Joan Martelly: Philanthropy and Social Contributions

Mary Joan Martelly

Much as Mary Joan likes to stay out of the limelight, this lady’s heart shines brighter than a star! She has a giving spirit as tremendous as they come!

When she’s not holding down the fort at home, Mary dedicates her time and energy to charitable causes.

Raising awareness about AIDS, especially in kids, is the cause closest to her heart. This mama bear has poured countless hours and resources into making a difference for children affected by the disease.

Education is also a huge priority for her. She believes every child deserves a fair shot at a quality education and the opportunity to succeed.

If it helps clear the hurdles for less unfortunate children, you can bet Mary Joan is putting her weight behind it. She’s been known to show up and volunteer at these education outreach programs, whether in the US or back in her home country.

Mary Joan Martelly: Life Now

Mary Joan Martelly

Image source: Google

These days, Mary Joan Martelly enjoys a quieter life away from the constant media buzz. She and George live on their sprawling 40-acre Texas estate, a perfect retreat from their earlier hectic years.

But just because their life is out of the spotlight doesn’t mean Mary Joan has stopped giving back. Her fight for others hasn’t fizzled one bit!

Together with her husband, she’s always looking for new ways to pour into the causes and communities she cares about most.

FAQs

Is George Foreman Still Married to Mary Joan Martelly?

Yes, George Foreman is still 100% married to the one and only Mary Joan Martelly after nearly 40 years. Now that’s a knockout relationship that went the complete 12 rounds!

How Old Is Mary Joan Martelly?

Born May 17, 1963, Mary Joan Martelly is now 61 years old.

Final Thoughts

After being married four times, George Foreman seems to have found the perfect match in Mary Joan Martelly.

Mary Joan was the ultimate boxer’s wife, supporting her man’s dreams while carving out a peaceful paradise in their home’s corner.

When you’re married to a legend like George Foreman, that’s one tough balancing act only a true champion could pull off!


Images source: X
Claire S. Allen
Claire S. Allen
Hi there! I'm Claire S. Allen, a vibrant Gemini who's as bold as my favorite color, red. I'm a fan of two cool things: strolling the streets in a red jacket and crafting articles that connect with readers. With my warm and friendly personality, Claire is sure to brighten up your day!
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