Former WBC heavyweight champion Ken Norton, who had three classic fights with Muhammad Ali, breaking Ali’s jaw in winning their first contest, then losing twice, was born in Jacksonville, Illinois today in 1943.
He starred in high school gridiron, basketball and track. He attended Northeast Missouri State University on a gridiron scholarship but was hampered by a shoulder injury in his first two seasons and enlisted in the Marines. Norton started boxing while he was in the Marines, compiling an amateur record of 24-2 and winning the All-Marine Heavyweight championship. The rest is history, Happy Heavenly Birthday Champ!!!!