Nicknamed "Bonecrusher," he became the WBA Heavyweight Champion and compiled a 44-17-1 career record.
He served in the U.S. military and worked as a prison guard before becoming a professional boxer.
He was the first Heavyweight Champion to have earned a college degree.
He married and had children with Reba Smith.
His last fight was against Larry Holmes on June 18, 1999. Holmes defeated him via 8th round TKO.