Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson began his career as a professional in the WWE then known as the WWF. He is now a full time actor but still appears on WWE programs. He received his education at the University of Miami.
He was born on May 2, 1972 in Hayward, California. His mother has Samoan blood while his father is of Black Nova Scotian (Canadian) descent. His grandmother Lia Maivia was a professional promoter and his grandfather “High Chief” Peter Maivia was a professional wrestler. Johnson’s father, Rocky Johnson, was also a professional wrestler.
On May 3, 1997, Johnson married his wife Dany. She gave birth to Simone Alexandra on August 14, 2001. The couple divorced on June 1, 2007 but they remain friends.
Charitable Works of Dwayne Johnson
He is the spokesperson of National AfterSchool Association, an organization that aims to care, educate and develop kids even when they are not in school. The Dwayne Johnson Rock Foundation is recognized for helping terminally ill children. The foundation also provides assistance to kids afflicted with other ailments, notably child obesity prevention and education.
The Beacon Experience includes Johnson as one of its directors. This group encourages children to continue their studies even after they have finished high school. Methods of education encouraged by the group include increased parental involvement, mentoring and special courses.
Johnson is also involved in the Make-A-Wish Foundation. He was one of the celebrities who set up the Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation. It provides financial assistance for non-profit groups. Their focus is on urban youths. Johnson is also a supporter of AIDS and Parkinson’s disease research.
Johnson’s popularity soared during his career in the WWE (then known as the WWF) from 1996 to 2004. In his early days he was known as “Rocky Maivia” and cast as a “good guy”. He would later become known as “Rocky” and then “The Rock”. In 1997 he turned heel and joined the Nation of Domination. He won his first championship in 1997.
Because of his charisma and mic skills, The Rock would become one of the WWF/WWE’s top stars. He has won 16 championships. He won the WWF Tag Team Championship five times, the WWF Intercontinental Championship twice and the WCW/World Championship twice. He is also a nine time World Heavyweight Champion. He won his first title –the WWF Intercontinental Championship- at age 24, the youngest to win it in WWE history.
Johnson was still known as Rocky Maivia when he won his first title. After losing the title to Triple H, Johnson took time off to recover from an injury. Upon his return on August 11, 1997, the name Rock Maivia was dropped in favor He would then become a member of Nation of Domination.
He would feud with several wrestlers, notably Triple H and Stone Cold Steve Austin. It was during this point that Johnson’s mic skills and promos came to prominence. From 2004 to 2009, he would make only part time appearances in the WWE as he focused on his film and television career.
Film and Television Career
Thanks to his popularity as a wrestler, Johnson was able to cross over into films and television. He was included in Wyclef Jean’s “It Doesn’t Matter” video. His first appearance in movies was as the Scorpion King in “The Mummy Returns”. His first starring role was in 2002’s The Scorpion King. His other notable films include Fast Five, Doom, Tooth Fairy, Race to Witch Mountain, Get Smart, The Game Plan and Walking Tall. He is also included in the movie G.I. Joe: Retaliation.
Johnson has also appeared in many television shows. Among his most noteworthy appearances are in That ’70s Show, Star Trek: Voyager, Cory in the House and Hannah Montana. He is listed in the 2007 Guinness Book of World Records as best paid performer in their first starring role. Johnson was paid $5.5 million in “The Scorpion King”. He was also a presenter at the 80th annual Oscars. He has appeared many times in Saturday Night Live and “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno”.
Politics and Other Charities
Johnson appeared in both the 2000 Democratic National Convention and 2000 Republican National Convention. He gave a speech at the Republican convention. But Johnson has said he has no political ambitions as of now.
In 2006, Johnson and his wife donated $2 million to Miami University for the renovation of its sports facilities. Other causes that he supports are human rights, health, disaster relief, creative arts and cancer research. He is also an advocate for at-risk/disadvantaged youths.
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson also supports groups like the I Have the Dream Foundation, Make The Difference Network, Kids Wish Network and many others. He also supports the Until There’s a Cure, the Starlight Children’s Foundation, the Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation and the Red Cross.