Once A Prisoner, Champ Bernard Hopkins Now Honored By Temple University

It’s not where you start but where you finish. Bernard Hopkins grew up in the Raymond Rosen housing projects in Philadelphia — it was tough sledding. By the time he turned 13 he was well into a life of crime and had been stabbed a few times. At the age of 17 Bernard Hopkins was sentenced to serve 18 years in the Graterford Prison for nine separate felonies. That same man was recently honored by Temple University in Philadelphia. It matters not where you start, just where you finish.

While in prison Hopkins saw a man killed in a dispute over cigarettes. Prison was no fairy tale and Hopkins determined that given the chance, he’d never go back. There was one thing in prison that Hopkins can be grateful for, however. It was there that he discovered a passion for boxing and it’s a good thing that he did. After serving nearly five years he was released and never looked back. Hopkins would go on to become the undisputed middleweight champion of the world and hold other titles, also. Hopkins is a legend, having been ranked by BoxRec as the eleventh greatest boxer of all time, pound for pound.

Love Statue in Philadelphia, with scenic fountain against a cloudy sky

In addition to his accomplishments in the ring, Hopkins would go on to become a businessman, investing extensively in real estate and other ventures, including a stake in Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions. He has been recognized for his philanthropic work in his hometown Philadelphia and still routinely walks the streets, connecting with the people. Having lived such a life and been so committed to his city, it’s only natural that Temple University would honor him with a doctor of humane letters degree. It’s all about where you finish.

  1. Kimberly Ramsey
    Kimberly Ramsey
    May 25, 2019 at 8:35 pm

    This is a very inspirational story especially for our young black boys and men. This is something that will give them motivation to be good to themselves and encourage others in their communities.

  2. Robert Naggie
    Robert Naggie
    May 28, 2019 at 2:14 pm


    A testament to a person’s will and commitment to transformation. Inspiring, keep providing this uplifting food for the soul!

  3. Crystal Sims
    Crystal Sims
    May 29, 2019 at 10:48 pm

    God is AWESOME! HE always has the last say! There’s nothing stopping you but YOU! Mr. Hopkins didn’t allow a mistake to determine his entire life. He turned his life around and hopefully after this article is circulated, someone’s life will be doing a 360 as well.
    Be blessed.

  4. La Toya Jackson
    La Toya Jackson
    May 30, 2019 at 1:23 am

    inspirational story.

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