Author(s): All about Books
Learn All About Michael Jordan and Lessons His Life Teaches Us in This Special Michael Jordan Book With Questions to Make Kids Smarter!
Here's Just a Taste What You'll See In This Concise Michael Jordan Biography for Kids:
Michael Jordan's Childhood
Despite his eventual rise to become one of the most famous celebrities of all time, MJ came from humble beginnings.
Born in Brooklyn, New York, Jordan moved to North Carolina as a toddler.
MJ's father, James R. Jordan Sr. was a former air force man who also played semi-pro baseball. After studying airplane hydraulics in Brooklyn, James Jordan and his wife Deloris decided to move their family back to Wilmington, North Carolina to flee the increasingly dangerous neighborhoods of Brooklyn, NY.
James and Deloris met at a basketball game in 1954. They quickly fell in love and dated for the next three years before getting married and welcoming their first child in 1957. While Michael was the most well-known of the kids, he was definitely not the only child. James and Deloris had five kids in total, three boys and two girls.
Larry Jordan, James R. Jordan Jr., and Deloris Jordan were Michael's older siblings. MJ also had a younger sister named Roslyn. We can see the origins of MJ's competitive nature if we study his childhood, namely his early experiences with racism and competitions with his brothers.
"At the time you had racism all over North Carolina -- all over the United States -- and it was a lot of it around here" said Jordan.
"So, as a kid, it was like, this is where I don't want to be. I want to excel outside of this. So my motivation was to be something outside of Wilmington."
MJ grew up wanting to use athletics as a vehicle to get to a better life. A life where he could journey far away from Wilmington and be able to distance himself from the racism he was experiencing.
The other source of Jordan's competitiveness came from his older brother, Larry. Growing up, Larry was a better basketball player than Michael and was able to use his advantages in strength and size to best his younger sibling. Larry was also the most competitive of all his siblings.
"When you come to blows with someone you absolutely love, that's igniting every fire within you. And I always felt like I was fighting Larry for my father's attention. ... When you're going through it, it's traumatic, because I want that. I want that approval, I want that type of confidence. So my determination got even greater to be as good if not better than my brother." Michael said.
The quote shows a window into some of the pain that MJ grew up with. His life wasn't all flowers and daisies. He experienced racism, fought his siblings for his father's attention, and went through traumatic events. Yet what made MJ special was his ability to use painful events to fuel him and help him strive for a better life. He could have decided to stay home and refuse to play when his father favored his brother Larry, or when his community favored those with a different skin color.
Instead Michael got up, worked hard, and achieved his dreams.
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