Local News

Shaw Bestows Honorary Degree on Boxing Promoter Don King

Posted November 19, 1998 6:00 a.m. EST

— Boxing promoter Don King will be honored today by Shaw University. He'll receive an honorary degree.

Most folks going into Raleigh's Memorial Auditorium are in favor of giving the controversial figure an honorary degree. Others are indifferent, and some say he should have earned his degree.

King is at the University's Homecoming Convocation to receive an honorary doctorate degree for his humanitarian contribution to the poor and underprivileged.

Shaw periodically awards honorary doctorates for outstanding contributions to mankind.

Past recipients include Maya Angelou, Dionne Warwick and Evander Holyfield. Numerous people say King makes a solid addition to that group.

"I think it's a fabulous thing for him. He is pretty much a celebrity, and when any celebrity comes forth to receive an award, it's a great event," said ceremony participant Arthur James.

"Even though he's had those things in his past, maybe he's changed. You can't really judge a person totally for the things he did years ago," said ceremony participant Craig Mims.

King does have a criminal record. For example, in 1966, King killed a man over a gambling debt, and he served four years in prison.

He is one of the most controversial figures in boxing. A book was written about him titled "Only in America, the Life and Crimes of Don King."