Dwayne Douglas Johnson was born on May 2, 1972 in Hayward, California. The family already had a legacy in wrestling. His father and grandfather were wrestlers. His grandmother was a promoter and eventually ran Polynesian Pacific Pro Wrestling. He also had a number of cousins and uncles that challenged the square circle.
After living briefly in both New Zealand and Honolulu, the family moved to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. He played high school football, ran track and, not surprisingly, wrestled. Johnson attended the University of Miami on a full scholarship to play football. An injury sidelined him. Graduating in 1995, Johnson had a brief stint with the Canadian Football League.
Johnson’s father resisted his son’s desires to become a wrestler, but ended up training Johnson nonetheless. Johnson ended up wrestling against the likes of the Brooklyn Brawler, Owen Hart and Jerry Lawler under names like “Flex Kavana.” He joined the World Wrestling Federation in 1996. A year later he began referring to himself in the third person as “The Rock.” Over the next decade, he became an immensely popular figure, as both villain and hero. He still occasionally wrestles for what is now World Wrestling Entertainment.
Unlike no other wrestler before him, Johnson was able to parlay his popularity into other venues of entertainment. He recorded songs with hip-hop artists Wyclef Jean and Slick Rick. In 2000, he hosted Saturday Night Live. He started doing guest appearances on television shows, including playing his own father on That ‘70s Show.
Johnson’s career started with The Mummy Returns. It was a brief role, but it led to him reprising the character in The Scorpion King. For a time, his films credited him as The Rock. He eventually started using Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson before successfully transitioning to Dwayne Johnson. He has appeared in many films, both action and drama, showing great range.
While attending the University of Miami, Johnson met his wife, Dany Garcia. They married in 1997. Daughter Simone was born in 2001. In 2007, the couple split. Johnson’s biography was a best seller. The richest wrestler in the world, The Rock is worth $70 million.