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*LeBron James, a Black professional basketball player, was born on this date in 1984.
He was born in Akron, Ohio, the only child of Gloria James, who was 16 at the time his birth and just six months shy of graduating from high school. His childhood improved when his mother began a relationship with Eddie Jackson. Young James did not have much contact with his biological father, and Jackson became a father figure to him. He regularly attended James' high school basketball games.
Young James was named Ohio's "Mr. Basketball" three times and was highly promoted in the national media as a future NBA star while still in high school. James finished his high school career with 2,657 points, 892 rebounds, and 523 assists. At 18, the Cleveland Cavaliers selected him with the first overall pick in the 2003 NBA Draft. Before his NBA debut, he signed a $90 million shoe contract with Nike.
In his first season, he was the Rookie of the Year and received All-NBA and All-Star honors in the following three seasons. He led the Cavaliers in back-to-back playoff appearances in 2006 and 2007. In the latter year, the team advanced to the Conference Finals for the first time since 1992 and the NBA Finals for the first time in Cleveland's history.
James was also a member of the United States men's national basketball team that won the bronze medal in the 2004 Olympics. He finished second in the league's Most Valuable Player balloting in 2006. Since leaving Cleveland for the Miami, Heat, James has been on two NBA Championship teams. In July 2014, after losing in his fourth trip to the NBA finals, James returned to Cleveland to play for the Cavaliers. in the four years since returning to Cleveland, he has won 1 championship and been runner-up three times.
James has three children with his high school sweetheart, Savannah Brinson. They were married in 2013. The children are LeBron James, Jr., born on October 6, 2004, Bryce Maximus James, born on June 14, 2007, and one daughter, Zhuri James.
In June 2008, James donated $20,000 to a committee to elect Barack Obama as president. Later that year, James gathered almost 20,000 people at the Quicken Loans Arena to view Obama's 30-minute American Stories, American Solutions television advertisement. The advertisement was shown on a large screen above the stage, where Jay-Z later held a free concert. In November 2016, James endorsed and campaigned for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election.
On June 29, 2018, James opted out of his contract with the Cavaliers and became an unrestricted free agent. On July 1, his management company, Klutch Sports, announced that he would sign with the Los Angeles Lakers; the deal was officially completed on July 9 of that year.
In August 2020, James wore a modified MAGA hat that called for the arrest of the police officers involved in the shooting of Breonna Taylor. On August 19, 2020, he announced his intentions to campaign for presidential candidate Joe Biden and his running-mate Kamala Harris in advance of the 2020 United States presidential election. James spoke in support of the "More Than A Vote" movement and encouraged members of the African-American community to vote. He said that "People in our community have been just lied to for so many years. We have people that have had convictions in the past, they’ve been told they cannot vote because they got a conviction. That is voter suppression."
On August 27, 2020, James, his Lakers teammates, and the Milwaukee Bucks began boycotting the 2020 NBA playoffs to protest the Shooting of Jacob Blake. In response, senior White House advisor Jared Kushner said he planned to reach out to James regarding the boycott. Following a players' committee to discuss the boycott, James and others reached out to Obama, who reportedly advised them to continue playing and finish that year's NBA season.