Born: March 1, 1965
Birthplace: Houston, TX
Zodiac Sign: Pisces
Career and Life
Robert Booker Tio Huffman aka Booker T, is an American professional wrestling promoter, color commentator, and professional wrestler, signed with WWE. He is also the owner and founder of the independent promotion Reality of Wrestling (ROW) in Texas City, Texas.
Booker is best known for his time in World Championship Wrestling (WCW), the World Wrestling Federation/Entertainment (WWF/E), and Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA), holding 35 championships between those organizations. He is the most decorated wrestler in WCW history, having held 21 titles including a record six WCW World Television Championships (along with being the first African American titleholder), and a record eleven WCW World Tag Team Championships: ten as one half of Harlem Heat with his brother, Lash "Stevie Ray" Huffman in WCW (most reigns within that company), and one in the WWF with Test. Harlem Heat were recognized by WWE as being – along with The Steiner Brothers – WCW's greatest ever tag team. Booker was the final WCW World Heavyweight Champion and WCW United States Heavyweight Champion under the WCW banner; industry veteran John Layfield described him as "the best acquisition that WWE got when they bought WCW".
Booker is a six-time world champion, having won the WCW World Heavyweight Championship five times (four times in WCW, and once in the WWF) and WWE's World Heavyweight Championship once. He is the first non-mixed race African American to become a world champion in WWE, and was voted the greatest World Heavyweight Champion in a WWE viewer poll. Booker is a 15-time world tag team champion between WCW (10 times), WWF/E (four times), and TNA (once). Additionally, he was the winner of the King of the Ring tournament in 2006, the sixteenth Triple Crown Champion, and the ninth Grand Slam Champion in WWE history. As the eleventh Triple Crown Champion in WCW history, Booker is one of five men in history to achieve both the WWE and WCW Triple Crowns. Longtime wrestler Kurt Angle said of Booker: "He's done it all... he legitimately is one of the top five best of all time." Booker was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame on April 6, 2013, by his brother, Lash.
Booker was born the youngest of eight children, in Plain Dealing, Louisiana, though his birthplace is often misidentified as Houston, Texas. By the time Booker was 13, both of his parents had died and he lived with his 16-year-old sister. He would move in with his older brother Lash "Stevie Ray" Huffman at age 17. In high school, Booker was a drum major. He also played football and basketball.
Booker spent nineteen months in prison after pleading guilty to armed robberies at Wendy's restaurants in Houston. Booker and his partners wore Wendy's uniforms during the holdups since they had been working there for 2½ years. Because of the gunmen's uniforms and familiarity with the fast food chain's operations, police suspected the robberies were inside jobs—and it did not take long before Huffman and three other men were found. Booker pleaded guilty in December 1987 to two aggravated robbery counts and was sentenced to five years in prison. He was released after serving 19 months, and was placed on parole until April 1992.
Booker married his first wife Levestia on May 23, 1996. Booker presented her to the Nitro crowd the night after his WCW World Heavyweight Championship win at Bash at the Beach Levestia was also used to further the feud between himself and Jeff Jarrett when Jarrett hit her in the head with a guitar on Nitro on July 31, 2000. However, they divorced on May 8, 2001.
Booker has a son, from a previous relationship with a high school girlfriend, named Brandon, with whom he has a strained relationship due to his time spent on the road. Booker married his girlfriend of five years, Sharmell Sullivan, in February 2005. The couple welcomed their twins, a boy named Kendrick and a girl named Kennedy, in 2010. Booker and his brother Lash opened a wrestling school in Houston in 2005. Booker T is also a supporter of Formula One, and was in attendance at the 2012 U.S Grand Prix as a guest of Lewis Hamilton.
In 2005, Huffman started his own wrestling promotion in Houston, Texas, called Pro Wrestling Alliance. In 2012, the promotion rebranded to Reality of Wrestling. After his final 2013 event, Christmas Chaos, ROW was near to close, but Houston business man Hilton Koch, who assisted the event, became a partner with Booker.
On February 21, 2015, Booker T and Stevie Ray reunited as Harlem Heat for one last match in Reality of Wrestling for the promotion's "The Final Heat" event. They defeated the Heavenly Bodies to win the ROW Tag Team Championship. On March 14, the titles were vacated.
On December 10, 2016, Huffman announced that he will be running in the 2019 election for mayor of Houston. He has been quoted saying that,“2020 is going to be a new era in the city of Houston. We’re going to be looked at now from a different perspective. The cool city, 2020 is coming." Huffman was quoted in 2016, stating his focus for the three years leading up to the 2019 election will be concentrated on the city's homeless, underprivileged, and low income areas.
In 2000, Booker appeared in the film Ready to Rumble as himself. He has appeared in an episode of Charmed, called "Wrestling with Demons" alongside Buff Bagwell and Scott Steiner. In 2001, along with several other WWE wrestlers, Booker competed on an episode of The Weakest Link, being eliminated second from the show. He also has appeared on Comedy Central and MTV.
On January 13, 2004, the album WWE Originals was released, featuring Booker T performing "Can You Dig It?". On April 21, 2007, Booker began hosting a radio show titled Tea Time with King Booker on KBME 790 AM in Houston. During the week of November 5, 2007, he appeared on Family Feud with several other WWE wrestlers.
On September 1, 2012, Booker released his first autobiography, Booker T: From Prison to Promise, with Medallion Press. Booker T made appearances to promote the book with The Score Television Network with Arda Ocal which aired on August 29, 2012. He conducted a sixteen-page interview with Pro Wrestling Illustrated in the 2012 volume #50 issue.
On March 10, 2015, Booker released his second autobiography, Booker T: Wrestling Royalty with Medallion Press.
In 2015 Booker T started a show on KILT (AM) that is also podcast on radio.com called "Heated Conversations - with Booker T". The show is aired Saturday Nights locally in Houston, Texas and covers subjects from Wrestling, MMA and Boxing to all sports. It has featured the biggest names from the WWE as well as NBA Stars like Dwight Howard.