Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is recognized the world over as one of the greatest basketball players who ever played the game as well as a committed social activist and award-winning writer. As a player, he was the NBA’s all-time leading scorer with 38,387 points for 39 years until his record was recently broken in 2023 by fellow Laker great Lebron James. He is a 6x NBA champion, and the league’s only 6x MVP. Time magazine dubbed him “History’s Greatest Player” and ESPN and The Pac 12 named him the #1 Collegiate Athlete of the 21st Century.
He is one of a handful of influential and respected black men in America who has a national platform as a regular contributing columnist for newspapers and magazines around the world. His articles now appear at kareem.substack.com where he shares his thoughts on some of the most socially relevant and politically controversial topics facing our nation today. After 50 years as an athlete and activist, he offers his perspectives as a nationally recognized speaker who regularly appears on the lecture circuit. The Southern California Journalism Awards have named him Columnist of the Year 8 times.
Before leaving office, President Barack Obama awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the country’s highest honor for civilians. He is the recipient of The Ford Medal of Freedom, The Rosa Parks Award, The Double Helix Medal and Harvard University’s W.E.B. Dubois Medal of Courage. Abdul-Jabbar holds 8 honorary doctorate degrees and is a U.S. Cultural Ambassador, a title specifically created for and bestowed on him by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
He is a New York Times best-selling author of 17 books, most of which explore the often-overlooked history of African Americans, from the achievements of the Harlem Renaissance to the forgotten Black inventors who changed our daily lives. He currently has several book and film projects in development.
Kareem is an award-winning documentary producer and a 2x Emmy-nominated narrator. He was featured in HBO’s most watched sports documentary of all time, Kareem: Minority of One, and he was a writer/producer on Season 5 of Veronica Mars.
Kareem has appeared in hundreds of iconic and memorable tv shows and movies such Airplane, Game of Death, The Big Bang Theory, Sesame Street, Jeopardy, The Simpsons, Fletch, New Girl, Full House, FX’s smash-hit, DAVE, aka Lil Dicky and Showtime’s #1 rated show Billions.
In 2015, the Basketball Hall of Fame created the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar College Center of the Year Award to honor the top college basketball center each year. And in 2021, the NBA created the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Social Justice Champion Award to honor the next generation of athletes who lift up their communities. https://www.nba.com/news/2023-kareem-abdul-jabbar-finalists-revealed
Currently, Abdul-Jabbar serves as the Chairman of his Skyhook Foundation whose mission is to “Give Kids a Shot That Can’t be Blocked” by bringing educational STEM opportunities to underserved communities through innovative outdoor environmental learning which allows LAUSD 4th and 5th graders to soar above the four walls of the classroom. His goal is to make science, technology, engineering, and math interactive, multi-sensory, relevant and, most important, fun. Kareem is the California STEM Ambassador because of his commitment to youth education and he also serves on the Advisory Board for UCLA Health. At 76 years old, he likes to say: “Only my jersey is retired.”