Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Headshot

Basketball Player • Actor • Martial Artist • Writer

Birth Name: Ferdinand Lewis Alcindor Jr.

Birth Date: April 16, 1947

Age: 77 years old

Birth Place: New York, New York

Partners: Pam Grier

Born in New York City in 1947, Ferdinand Lewis Alcindor (Lew Alcindor) was always tall. He was 6 feet 8 inches tall before entering high school, where his team finished with a 79-2 record including a 71-game winning streak.

Although NCAA rules prevented freshman from playing during the season, the Alcindor-led freshman team at UCLA beat the varsity team that went on to win the National Championship, beginning a renowned college career that resulted in an unprecedented three consecutive National Championships of his own and an 88-2 record, as well as earning his BA in History.

In 1968, Alcindor converted to Islam and in 1969 was drafted by the Milwaukee Bucks with the first pick in the NBA draft. In his second year in the league, Alcindor won fist first NBA MVP award, and led the Bucks to their first NBA Championship, where he was named the finals MVP.

The day after winning the finals, Alcindor began publicly using his Arabic name, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. The same year, he made his first appearance as an actor, on the private eye show "Mannix" (CBS, 1967-1975).

In 1975, Abdul-Jabbar was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers, where he was joined, in 1979, by Magic Johnson. The pair ushered in the Lakers basketball dynasty, appearing in the NBA finals 8 times, winning 5. Abdul-Jabbar earned his record sixth NBA MVP award in 1980.

Abdul-Jabbar continued to appear occasionally in film and TV; most notably he had a memorable cameo in the classic slapstick comedy "Airplane" (1980). When he retired in 1989 after 20 years in basketball, Abdul-Jabbar was considered the greatest player of all time.

After his basketball career, Abdul-Jabbar was a frequent writer and activist for racial equality. In 1986, he published his first novel of History, Black Profiles in Courage: A Legacy of African-American Achievement. He has also co-written a pair books, Mycroft Holmes and Mycroft and Sherlock Holmes, which take the famous character on new adventures.

Abdul-Jabbar also produced and directed "On the Shoulders of Giants" (2011) about a legendary but overlooked basketball team from 1930s Harlem. In 2018 it was announced that he would add screenwriter to his resume, as he was named as one of the writers on the series reboot of "Veronica Mars" (The CW, 2004-07).

Credits

The Show After the Show

Self
Show
2023

The Daily ShowStream

Guest
Series
2023

The Jennifer Hudson ShowStream

Guest
Talk
2022

Legacy: The True Story of the LA LakersStream

Self
Docuseries
2022
82%

Black Patriots: Heroes of the Civil WarStream

Executive Producer
Movie
2022

Muhammad AliStream

Self
Movie
2021

Fight the Power: The Movements That Changed AmericaStream

Executive Producer
Special
2021

Bruce Lee: Be Water

Actor
Show
2020

Dear...Stream

Self
Docuseries
2020
100%

Black Patriots

Executive Producer
Show
2020

Black Patriots: Heroes of the Revolution

Actor
Show
2020

Black Patriots: Heroes of the Revolution

Executive Producer
Show
2020

John Bronco

Actor
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Movie
2020

Be Water

Self
Movie
2020

Access Daily

Guest
Show
2019

What's My Name: Muhammad AliStream

Actor
Movie
2019
96%

Today 3rd Hour

Guest
Show
2018

1968

Guest Star
Show
2018

Access

Guest
Show
2017

Access Live

Guest
Show
2017

Daily Blast Live

Guest
Show
2017

Beat ShazamStream

Guest
Game Show
2017

The Messy Truth

Guest
Show
2017

The Messy Truth With Van Jones

Guest
Show
2016

T.D. Jakes

Guest
Show
2016

The 2016 ESPYs

Guest
Show
2016

To Tell the TruthStream

Guest
Game Show
2016

Kareem: Minority of One

Self
Show
2015

Celebrity Family FeudStream

Guest
Game Show
2015

iZombieStream

Guest Star
Zed
Series
2015
92%

Fresh Off the BoatStream

Guest Star
Self
Series
2015
94%

Late Night With Seth MeyersStream

Guest
Talk
2014

The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy FallonStream

Guest
Talk
2014

The Crazy OnesStream

Guest Star
Himself
Series
2013

The Arsenio Hall Show

Guest
Show
2013

Splash

Contestant
Show
2013

Well Read

Guest
Show
2012

CBS This Morning

Guest
Show
2012

The Chew

Guest
Talk
2011

New GirlStream

Guest Star
Himself
Series
2011
95%

The Talk

Guest
Talk
2010

On the Shoulders of Giants

Executive Producer
Movie
2010

On the Shoulders of Giants

Narrator
Movie
2010

On the Shoulders of Giants

Screenwriter
Movie
2010

On the Shoulders of Giants

Writer
Movie
2010

Watch What Happens Live With Andy CohenStream

Guest
Talk
2009

Late Night With Jimmy Fallon

Guest
Talk
2009

The Wendy Williams Show

Guest
Talk
2008

My Generation

Guest
Show
2008

The Big Bang TheoryStream

Guest Star
Himself
Series
2007
81%

Today With Kathie Lee & Hoda

Guest
Show
2007

Chelsea Lately

Guest
Talk
2007

The Apprentice: Los Angeles

Guest Star
Show
2007

Iconoclasts

Guest
Show
2005

The Colbert Report

Actor
Talk
2005

The Colbert Report

Guest
Talk
2005

Dancing With the StarsStream

Contestant
Reality
2005

Veronica MarsStream

Writer
Series
2004
91%

Tavis Smiley

Guest
Talk
2004

Real Time With Bill MaherStream

Guest
Talk
2003

1 Love

Actor
Movie
2003

This Week With George Stephanopoulos

Guest
News
2002

Last Call With Carson Daly

Guest
Talk
2002

ScrubsStream

Guest Star
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Series
2001
83%

Bruce Lee: A Warrior's Journey

Self
Show
2001

Bruce Lee in G.O.D 死亡的遊戯

Actor
Movie
2001

The War Next Door

Guest Star
Show
2000

The Daily Show With Jon StewartStream

Guest
Talk
1999

The Gregory Hines Show

Guest Star
Show
1997

The View

Guest
Talk
1997

Everybody Loves RaymondStream

Guest Star
Himself
Series
1996

Boston Common

Guest Star
Series
1996
33%

Buddies

Self
Show
1996

Slam Dunk Ernest

Actor
The Archangel of Basketball
Movie
1995

The CriticStream

Guest Voice
Series
1994
85%

Living SingleStream

Guest Star
Series
1993

MartinStream

Guest Star
Series
1992

The Fresh Prince of Bel-AirStream

Guest Star
Series
1990

The SimpsonsStream

Guest Voice
Himself
Series
1989
85%

Full HouseStream

Self
Series
1987

21 Jump StreetStream

Guest Star
Wesley Williams
Series
1987

All Star Rock 'n' Wrestling Saturday Spectacular

Actor
Show
1985

Airplane!Stream

Actor
Roger Murdoch
Movie
1980
97%

CBS News Sunday MorningStream

Guest
News
1979

Diff'rent Strokes

Guest Star
Series
1978

Sesame StreetStream

Guest
Series
1969

MannixStream

Guest Star
Jeff
Series
1967

Today

Guest
News
1952

News aboutKareem Abdul-Jabbar