Mike Tyson’s Early Life
Many people know about Mike Tyson. However, few know that an Italian man, Cus D’Amato, adopted him after his mother passed away.
At only two, Mike’s biological father left his family, leaving Mike’s mother to raise her two sons and her daughter alone.
Mike’s mother struggled as a single parent, raising three children in an an area where crime was very common. Mike’s mother and father were both drug addicts, and he consumed alcohol for the first time before he was one. Tyson explained that his mother would feed him drugs and alchohol to keep him sleeping.
Growing up in this toxic environment lead Mike to grow up early, fight, and engage in crime. For example, Tyson was arrested 38 times by thirteen, and explained that he was in about 400 fights.
Mike’s mother died of cancer in 1982, three years before Mike became a professional boxer. Then, he lost his only sister, Denise Anderson, due to a heart attack in 1990.
Through all the stress in life, Mike found an outlet in boxing.
Adopted by Cus D’Amato
Mike was left without parents at sixteen, so his boxing trainer and the trainer’s wife legally adopted him. Cus not only adopted Tyson but mentored him in many aspects of life, trained him, and helped shape him into a renowned boxer.
Mike Tyson had a very close relationship with Cus, who he considered his father. You can hear Mike speak more about his relationship with him in the video below.
Tyson explains that Cus saw something in him that he never saw in himself. Although Tyson never had a father, he knew what it was like to try to make a father happy. He wanted to become a champion to make Cus proud and happy.