Mary Joan Martelly: George Foreman’s Rock of Courage and Love 

When things don’t turn out well for you, you get yourself up and offer it one more opportunity—a sentiment echoed by the late, great Aaliyah. This sense of resilience is epitomized by legendary boxer George Foreman, not only in the ring but also in his personal life. Foreman found enduring love with his fifth wife, Mary Joan Martelly, whom he married in March 1985 after a year-long courtship. Their journey together is a testament to persistence and unwavering determination.


Mary Joan Martelly hails from the picturesque island of St. Lucia in the Caribbean. Growing up surrounded by natural beauty, her early life was marked by the values of family and community. These values would later play a significant role in her life with George Foreman.

The Meeting

Foreman and Martelly’s paths crossed at a time when Foreman was seeking more than just a professional comeback. He was looking for a partner who could understand and share his life’s journey. Martelly’s calm demeanor and strong family values attracted Foreman, and their romance blossomed quickly. Their marriage in March 1985 marked the beginning of a new chapter in Foreman’s life, both professionally and personally.

Family Life

Together, Martelly and Foreman have built a robust family, raising seven children. They have five biological children: George IV, George V, George VI, Leola, and Natalie. Their home is filled with laughter, love, and a sense of unity that is rare to find. The couple also opened their hearts and home to two adopted children, Isabella Brandie Lilja in 2009 and Courtney Isaac in 2012, making their family a vibrant mix of personalities and dreams.

Biological Children

Each of their biological children carries a unique story and a shared bond. Naming three of their sons George—George IV, George V, and George VI—was more than a nod to Foreman’s legacy; it was a way to ensure the strength and perseverance he embodies would live on through them. Their daughters, Leola and Natalie, bring a different dynamic to the family, enriching their home with diverse talents and interests.

Adopted Children

Isabella and Courtney, though not biologically related, are as much a part of the family as their siblings. Their adoptions were acts of love, showcasing Martelly and Foreman’s commitment to providing a nurturing environment for all children. These adoptions highlight Martelly’s inclusive and caring nature, making her an exemplary mother figure.


The journey has not been without its challenges. Like any marriage, Martelly and Foreman have faced their share of trials. However, their ability to overcome adversity together is a testament to their strong bond. Martelly’s unwavering support during Foreman’s boxing comebacks and business ventures has been crucial. Her steadfast presence has provided stability and strength, allowing Foreman to pursue his dreams with confidence.

Community Involvement

Martelly’s influence extends beyond her family. She is actively involved in various charitable activities, often focusing on children and health. Her work with organizations dedicated to improving the lives of underprivileged children reflects her compassionate nature and dedication to making a positive impact.

Health Initiatives

One of Martelly’s significant contributions has been her involvement in health initiatives. She has worked tirelessly to raise awareness about health issues affecting children, particularly in underserved communities. Her efforts have not only brought much-needed attention to these issues but have also provided tangible benefits to those in need.


Martelly is also a strong advocate for education. She believes that every child deserves the opportunity to learn and grow in a supportive environment. Her initiatives in this area have helped many children access educational resources and opportunities they might not have had otherwise.


Martelly’s legacy is intertwined with that of her husband’s, yet she stands out as a powerful figure in her own right. Her dedication to her family, her community, and her values makes her a role model for many. She embodies the strength and resilience needed to face life’s challenges head-on, and her story is one of inspiration and determination.


Mary Joan Martelly’s life is a story of love, resilience, and unwavering support. From her early days in St. Lucia to her role as a matriarch in the Foreman family, she has demonstrated what it means to be a pillar of strength. Her contributions to her family and community highlight her compassionate nature and commitment to making a positive difference. As George Foreman’s partner, she has been a steady presence, helping to navigate the highs and lows of life with grace and determination. Martelly’s journey is a testament to the power of love and the importance of giving things one more opportunity, no matter the challenges faced along the way.

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