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February 15, 2008

Media Contact: Beverley Golden
News and Information
The University of Texas at Tyler
903.566.7303 or 903.330.0495 (cell)

Patriot and Philanthropist Don King to Speak at UT Tyler


Only in America: A Patriotic Celebration of the American Dream will feature patriot, philanthropist and businessman Don King at The University of Texas at Tyler R. Don Cowan Fine and Performing Arts Center, President Rodney H. Mabry announced.

King will take the stage at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 18. The evening includes a special appearance by Roger Williams, former Texas Secretary of State.

The Tom Houston Orchestra will present  “A Tribute to the Armed Forces” military musical salute at 6:30 p.m.

General admission tickets are $20 and will go on sale Feb. 18. They are available at the UT Tyler Cowan Center box office or online at www.CowanCenter.org. Box office hours are 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. To reach the box office, call 903.566.7424.

This is a special event which is not part of the regular UT Tyler Cowan Center series.

Tyler Morning Telegraph and The Blaze (102.7 & 106.9) serve as media sponsors for this event.

“We are so pleased to be a part of this event which celebrates the ideals on which this great country was founded. Don King embraces those ideals and champions those who serve to preserve them,” Mabry said.

Don King is known for the phrase “only in America,” which he uses to express his allegiance to a country in which he’s accomplished so much.

A self-described product of the hard-core Cleveland ghetto, he beat the system to become one of the most well-known figures in sports. Inducted into the Boxing Hall of Fame in 1997, King was the only boxing promoter named to Sports Illustrated’s list of the “40 Most Influential Sports Figures of the Past 40 Years.” His major accomplishments in boxing came as a promoter of fights involving former heavyweight champions Muhammad Ali, Larry Holmes and Mike Tyson.

A true patriot, King openly expresses his love for his country and those who fight to secure its freedom.

He has always supported the Armed Forces, both at home and as they serve abroad. King has visited various military bases and has pledged to help them with their projects. He has been recognized as an honorary “Screaming Eagle” by General David Patraeus and the 101st Army Airborne Division.

During the 2007 Thanksgiving holidays, King made a USO-sponsored surprise visit to the troops in Iraq. While there, he provided a special viewing of his boxing match between Fernando Vargas and Ricardo Mayorga live from the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

For years, King has quietly made all of his boxing events available to the Armed Forces Network at no charge.

He followed the November visit, with the three-city stateside “We Care” base tour and morale booster for the military.

King, 75, and his wife, Henrietta, have three children and five grandchildren.

One of the 15 campuses of the UT System, UT Tyler offers excellence in teaching, research, artistic performance and community service. More than 70 undergraduate and graduate degrees are available at UT Tyler, which has an enrollment of more than 6,000 high-ability students at its campuses in Tyler, Longview and Palestine.

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