Underdog Story of the Day - Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson

Underdog Story of the Day - Dwayne

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson

Not many people think of The Rock as someone who would often find himself in police custody due to repeated theft. 

It was a rocky road to reach the destination that he is at now. As a child, he'd bounce around homes in California and New Zealand. His dad, Rocky Johnson, continued a long lineage of wrestling that was passed to him from his grandparents.

The Johnson's ended up moving to Hawaii while his father pursued his career in wrestling. Even though The Rock's father was deemed a very successful wrestler,  the family was living in an efficiency that cost $120/week. Their financial security was anything but secure. Repossession of cars and eviction notices are just a couple of the obstacles that the Johnson's endured early on in The Rock's life. 

To keep up with their cost of living, the Johnson's would steal and resell. The Rock recalls going to the high-end blocks in Waikiki that had the Gucci's and Armani's to steal the expensive clothes and try to resell them the best that he could.

At the age of 16, Johnson found a passion. He attended three different high schools during his teenage years and finally found football as his haven at Freedom High School in Bethlehem, PA.

His football career would've never begun if it wasn't for an interaction with one of the teachers in the teacher's lounge bathroom. He recalls using the teacher's bathroom and Jody Cwik, one of the teachers, walked in to tell him he couldn't be in there. The Rock stubbornly told him he'd leave when he was done. Later that day, The Rock sought out Cwik to apologize for his actions.

He eventually found him.

“He shook my hand. I’ll never forget that shake—he wouldn’t let it go—[and he] said, ‘I want you to do something for me. … I want you to come out and play football for me.’ And I went out, and I played football for Jody Cwik. He was our head football coach, and he became a father figure to me and mentor.”

The Rock went on to have a successful football career and earned himself a scholarship to the University of Miami. When he got there he didn't play many minutes thanks to Warren Sapp, who came in the following year, eventually elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2013.

He kept pushing his football career and despite lack of interest from NFL teams, Johnson joined the Calgary Stampede and was cut two months into the season. He was in a deep depression. When all else failed, he turned to wrestling. He went on to have a very successful wrestling career but wasn't completely fulfilled. He wanted a crack at Hollywood.

He made his Hollywood debut in 2001 in The Mummy Returns

Fast forward nineteen years and The Rock holds dozens of accomplishments and boasts an estimated $320 million.

WATCH: The Rock gives a speech toasting 'The Ones in the Seats'


The Rock has come a long way since reportedly having $7 in his pocket. Through deep depression, an unstable home, and crime, The Rock now finds himself as one of the greatest actors and global influencers. The Rock teaches us that you can turn anything around at any moment in your life. Work hard, be grateful for what you have, and the rest will work itself out. As he once said, “1995. $7 bucks in my pocket. I knew two things: I’m broke as hell and one day I won’t be”

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