Happy Birthday Dwayne Johnson: Celebrating ‘The Rock’s’ Incredible Career

by Joe Rutland

Dwayne Johnson is one of the world’s biggest, both in size and worth, movie stars. It’s also “The Rock’s” birthday as he turns 49 years old.

Johnson was born May 2, 1972, in Hayward, Calif. His father was professional wrestler Rocky Johnson; his mother is Ata Johnson. His younger days, which are getting played out on NBC’s “Young Rock,” were filled with run-ins with police. Rocky Johnson, who died in 2020, would bring his pro wrestling friends over to the house.

But Dwayne Johnson found himself evicted, along with his family, as a youngster. He ended up going to three high schools, graduating from Freedom High School in Bethlehem, Pa. It was there that Johnson found his athletic side, playing on football, track and field, and wrestling teams.

Dwayne Johnson Moved From Pro Football To Pro Wrestling

Johnson played college football at the University of Miami, then went to the Canadian Football League’s Calgary Stampeders. But an injury forced him to change course, eventually finding himself as part of the professional wrestling world.

Pat Patterson, an agent with the then-World Wrestling Federation (now WWE), got a few tryout matches for him in 1996. Patterson died in December 2020 at 79 years old.

It took a little time, but Dwayne Johnson signed a contract with the company in 1997. His first ring name was Rocky Maivia, a good guy or “face” in matches. That didn’t work out, so Johnson went down to Ohio Valley Wrestling in Louisville, Ky., which was working with the WWF/WWE at the time. It was there that Johnson started developing “The Rock” persona.

He was brought back up to the main roster and actually was made into a bad guy or “heel.” It pretty much clicked immediately and Dwayne Johnson was off to the races. In a matter of months, “The Rock” became the second-hottest pro wrestler in the company next to “Stone Cold” Steve Austin. After only having $7 dollars to his name upon entering pro wrestling, Johnson began making millions under the guiding hand of WWE Chairman Vince McMahon and others in the company.

Take a look at Johnson in his “The Rock” persona while in the ring.

Pro Wrestler Turns His Sights On Major Movie Career

Johnson, though, had his eyes also set on a movie career. He made guest appearances on TV shows and even hosted “Saturday Night Live” back in 2000. This was a new turn, though, for him. From “The Mummy Returns” in 2001 and “The Scorpion King” in 2002, Dwayne Johnson has turned himself into the biggest box-office star in the world.

He’s been a part of the “Fast & Furious” franchise of movies since the first one, playing Hobbs. Enjoy this snippet from “Fast & Furious 6” with Johnson.

At this time, the former pro wrestler, movie star, and business entrepreneur reportedly has a net worth of $400 million. Johnson, though, gives of his time and financial support to causes near to him. He’s married to his second wife Lauren and has three children.

Dwayne Johnson, who stands 6-foot-5 and weighs 260 pounds, also stays active on social media as he reportedly has the fourth-most-followed Instagram account.

Hard work, effort, tenacity, and philanthopy are all part of Johnson’s life. He’s become more than just another pro wrestler, though. One might call Dwayne Johnson an icon to the millions and millions of his fans.

Outsider wishes a very happy birthday to you, DJ.