Don King's Wife, Henrietta King, Dies: 'I've Lost My Best Friend'
She personifies helping me, and with her and God in the forefront, she's just made my life worth living. She taught me to love the life that you live, and to live the life that you love. I guess we've been together for 50 years or so, you know, who knows? It's been an eternity. She's the love of my life."
Don King speaking of his wife, Henrietta, in an Aug. 17 interview with FanHouse three days prior to his 79th birthday. Henrietta King died on Friday morning.
Henrietta King, the wife of legendary promoter, Don King, died on Friday morning at a hospice care center in South Florida following a lengthy illness, according to Alan Hopper, vice president of public relations for Don King Productions.
Henrietta King was 87.
"I received the call at about 12:20 a.m. from Dana Jamison, who is the senior vice president of boxing operations. Henrietta was in a hospice care center, and she had been there since Tuesday," Hopper said.
"She died from a lengthy illness," Hopper said. "Don is with his family right now. It was one of those things where she just died quietly and peacefully."
King and promoter, Gary Shaw, had been working on a Jan. 29, HBO televised junior welterweight (140 pounds) bout between WBC king Devon Alexander, who is promoted by King, and, WBO titlist Tim Bradley, who is promoted by Shaw.
Alexander-Bradley is scheduled to take place at the Pontiac Silverdome. A press conference is scheduled for Tuesday at the Silverdome, followed by one on Wednesday at a venue in New York.
"Don did work some tonight, but then, he went back and spent more time with Henrietta," said Hopper. "Dana said that when Don spoke to her just after his wife's passing, he said, 'I've lost my best friend.' It was very poignant. Don always told me that she was his rock, and the woman behind the man."
King had also been meeting with and hoping to sign six-time titlist Floyd Mayweather, who had reportedly visited with him and offered emotional support as recently as Thursday.
"Floyd is here right now. Floyd is very concerned about me and especially about my wife," King told BoxingScene.com's Michael Marley on Thursday. "Really, Floyd has just been a great guy on this. Floyd has been very, very kind."