Michael Strahan’s Relationship With His Ex-Wife Jean Has Gone From Bad to Worse

Sun Nov 07 2021

Houston-born TV personality Michael Strahan has been in the public eye since his early twenties when he was in the National Football League. He met his future-wife Jean Muggli when he was playing for the New York Giants after having had an instant attraction, but it would prove to be his downfall further into the future.

Since retiring from the NFL in 2007, he’s become a household name and turned into a prominent television personality, co-hosting shows like Good Morning America, Live! with Kelly and Michael, and Good Morning America. But Michael’s personal life is fraught with problems, scandals, and even career-wrecking allegations. Take a look at everything that’s been going on with him and his ex-wife Jean behind closed doors.

Michael and Jean Were an Unlikely Match From the Start

Michael and Jean met each other in Manhattan during the late nineties at a skin-care salon. She was working there while Michael kept making repeat purchases of expensive shower gels. “I figured either he was the cleanest man on the planet or he wanted to ask me out,” Jean once admitted.

Pro-footballer Michael and gorgeous red-headed Jean, who hailed from a farm in North Dakota, were an unlikely match as far as she was concerned. “I was not into athletes,” she said back when things were still good between them. “But I learned very fast that he is not your typical macho kind of athlete.”

They Married and Got Pregnant, But That’s Where the Good Times Ended

By 1999, the couple had tied the knot and continued working on their careers. Michael was busy honing his defensive skills on the pitch, while Jean was managing a cosmetics store. There had been a prenuptial agreement written up at the time of their marriage, which would end up coming into play later down the line.

The prenup stated Michael had to set aside 20% of his earnings every year, and that in the event of a divorce, Jean would be entitled to walk away with it. It wasn’t until 2004 when the couple got pregnant with two beautiful fraternal twin girls and moved into Manhattan’s Upper West Side.

Jean Accuses Michael of Domestic Violence Following an Argument About Money Problems

As you can see, the couple became parents to two adorable twins, Sophia and Isabella. But only a year after they were born in March 2015, Michael filed for divorce. But Jean proved she can give as good as she gets. She filed a domestic lawsuit against her husband just a few days after he handed her divorce papers. According to Jean, the couple had been fighting about money before the incident occurred.

Michael strongly denied the allegations, stating: “I would never physically or psychologically harm any of my loved ones, especially my wife. That’s simply not the man I am. I will continue to respect Jean’s privacy and not contribute to a public spectacle of an extremely private matter.”

Michael and Jean Go Face To Face in Court and Jean Claims Domestic Violence Happened More Than Once

Naturally, Jean’s claim of domestic violence took them both to court and Michael’s good name hung in the balance. But Michael had more to lose than just his public reputation; he could also lose rights to his daughters. Jean also claimed that Michael had been physically abusive years earlier, during a period when the couple lived in Germany.

She claimed that Michael had gone so far as to actually punch her in the face in 1996. “It’s unfortunate that some marriages don’t always work out for both parties, but that’s a painful reality of the times we live in,” Michael had said, but the mystery remained as to which of them was telling the truth.

Jean Recounts What Had Happened on More Than One Occasion

Jean claimed that violence had entered their relationship three years before they tied the knot. “On Easter 1996, he punched me in the middle of the face,” she stated. “I fell to the ground and knocked my teeth on the floor. He continued to beat me, mostly focusing on my body.”

These were shocking allegations to hear for the courtroom and public alike. Jean cried as she gave her testimony, adding “One time, he punched me in the kidneys.” She also claimed that the couple went to therapy which put a stop to the physical harm, right up until they had their twin daughters.

Jean Tells the Judge That the Incident With Michael Never Actually Happened

Jean ended up retracting her claims of domestic violence after the argument about money. She admitted while in court that Michael hadn’t touched her during or after the heated fight about finances, and Judge Thomas Zampino swiftly dismissed the claim, as that specific incident was the only one in question.

But the judge did ban Michael from entering into the family home that Jean and their daughters were living in. The court sanctioned him to visit the twins every other day outside the home. The nanny would then bring the girls out, so Michael wouldn’t need to enter the house.

Jean Had Transferred $1.7 Million of Their Joint Money Into Her Personal Bank Account

Apparently, the incident occurred after Jean transferred $1.7 million from their joint bank account to a personal account. During the testimony, Jean stated that “Michael came charging in, saying, ‘Where’s my money?’ He said, ‘Give me my f****** money back’… He was yelling so close that spit was hitting my face.” According to Jean, she made the transfer as Michael had transferred some money to his personal account as well as cut her off from her credit card.

She transferred another $1.6 million into her account after the argument. “I was afraid at this point,” Jean explained, adding “He looked at me with such hate.” During the cross-examination, she stated that he hadn’t actually touched her. Michael said he never touched her, stating: “I was never in her face. I raised my hand at the end of the discussion and said, ‘Put the f****** money back into the account.’”

Michael Is Court-ordered To Give Jean Over $15 Million, and It’s All Because of Their Prenup

Michael was given a divorce from Jean in July 2006, but it came at a hefty cost just a few months later. Jean was granted $15.3 million of Michael’s fortune – which was more than half of Michael’s net worth! That was because of their prenuptial agreement, which entitled Jean to half of their joint assets and 20% of his yearly income for every year they had been married.

It was a huge blow for Michael. On top of the whopping divorce settlement, he was court-ordered to give Jean $18,000 a month for child support. Michael tried to fight her right to 20% of his yearly income, stating that she failed to ask for it every year. Sadly for him, it didn’t go anywhere.

Michael and Jean Go to the Papers After the Divorce Is Settled

Michael spoke with People magazine following the divorce: “Getting divorced is probably one of the toughest things I’ve ever gone through.” He added: “It was also a learning experience and I learned a lot about myself and I learned a lot about a lot of the people who were around at that time and some aren’t around anymore.”

Jean also gave a statement to The New York Post following their divorce: “It pays to tell the truth, and I told the truth. I never asked for a penny more than the prenup that Michael and his lawyers wrote and made me sign. And all I ever asked for was that to be upheld.” But this wasn’t going to be the final word between the two, as things got even messier later on.

Michael Finds Love With Eddie Murphy’s Ex-Wife Nicole

It wasn’t long before Michael moved on, with none other than Eddie Murphy’s gorgeous ex-wife, actress, and model Nicole Mitchell. Michael had his two twin girls as well as two kids from his first marriage to someone other than Jean, while Nicole had five children with funnyman Eddie Murphy.

They got on like a house on fire and had similar family commitments. Things were going so great that the glamorous couple got engaged in 2009. Despite all that Michael had been through with his second wife Jean, he was willing to take a risk all over again with his new love Nicole – presumably, with a better lawyer writing up the prenup!

The Couple Part Ways After a Five-Year-Long Engagement

The glamorous pair continued to date and were pictured attending public engagements together. They were incredibly adorable, but eventually, the months turned into years. They had remained engaged all this time with still no date for the wedding.

After five years of being engaged and seven years of dating, Michael and Nicole called off the engagement and ended their relationship. It was 2014, and it wasn’t clear to the public why they were breaking. On the day when Nicole moved out of their shared home, she simply stated: “We will always be friends.”

Rumors Begin To Circulate That Michael Had Been Cheating on Nicole

The former couple didn’t reveal much about their relationship in light of the breakup, and sources came forward with claims that the couple had been fighting over another woman. According to these sources, Nicole had shouted at the former athlete in a public place, saying “I know you’re in there with some b****.”

Naturally, Michael and Nicole refused to comment on these accusations. Other people assumed that Michael’s co-host Kelly Ripa on Live with Kelly and Michael had been a source of tension, especially after Michael called publicly called Kelly his “TV wife.” But the pair have left the public guessing as they’ve never confirmed or denied what split them apart.

Michael’s Current Squeeze Is the Much Younger Model Kayla Quick

Michael found love again a year after his engagement was called off. Since 2015, he’s been dating Kayla Quick – a model with long brunette hair and big blue eyes. Despite the fact that they’ve been dating for years, they’re rarely spotted out in public together. That’s mainly because they’re keeping their private lives as private as possible.

Kayla’s gotten pretty friendly with Michael’s twin daughters, Sophia and Isabella. But she has a sketchy past that has come to light in recent years, as well as details about her racy former job. The Florida-born beauty obviously lived quite an interesting life before Michael came into the picture.

Kayla Has Been to Prison and Used to Work as an Exotic Dancer

Kayla, now in her early thirties (pictured below) actually spent time in jail back when she was a teenager. The first time it happened, she was 14 years old. The second time was when she was 18 when her sick grandmother accused her of stealing $6,000 worth of jewelry from her home. Both Kayla and her then-boyfriend served time for breaking an entrance and robbery.

That’s not all. Kayla used to be quite the party animal, so much so that she wound up working as an exotic dancer at a club in Tampa, Florida. It’s not known where she met Michael, as the couple doesn’t talk about their relationship with the media. Either way, we’re happy to see that Michael’s in a stable relationship.

Michael Tries To Get His Own Back at Jean and Drags Her Back to Court

You might have thought that the drama with his ex-wife Jean had ended back in 2006 when the divorce was finalized. But Michael decided to file a claim against the mother of his daughters in 2020. In this claim, he accused Jean of having had a “pattern of abusive conduct towards the children for years,” that was both physical and emotional.

Yep – things were about to get messy again. Michael asked to be given primary custody over their girls with their biological mother granted visitation rights. He refused to make a comment to the public about it, as did Jean, and the pair of them got ready to square up in court against one another once more.

Jean Is in Hot Water When Michael’s Accusations Are Read Out in Court

This “pattern of abuse” included failing to take the twins to their “court-ordered therapy sessions” as well as stopping them from going to their “volleyball matches and equestrian events.” Michael also accused Jean of withholding Sophia and Isabella’s passports.

According to Michael, he was supposed to be taking the girls on a daddy-daughter trip to Europe for a family vacation but was stopped by Jean who refused to hand over the girls’ passports. It only got worse when Jean fired back at Michael, claiming he had hired private investigators to watch her “around the clock.”

The Twins Are Moving Back to Manhattan and Michael Gets Joint Custody

The twins were living with their mom in North Carolina, while Michael continued to live in Manhattan. They eventually settled this high-profile custody dispute as Jean chose to comply with all of Michael’s demands. Sophia and Isabella were going to move back to Manhattan, where they had previously lived and gone to school.

The couple agreed to share custody of their daughters, and Michael agreed to dismiss the claims of abuse. Despite solving this case, they continued another legal battle that had opened up about child support. But the former husband and wife would meet back at court at a later date to address those issues separately.

Jean Is Arrested for Harrassing a Former Girlfriend Despite the Restraining Order

Something unexpected happened in June 2021. Jean was taken into police custody after a former girlfriend reported her for breaking a no-contact restraining order. Marianne Ayer had previously been in a romantic relationship with Jean, but it didn’t end well.

Marianne claimed that Jean had committed a number of crimes and that after their break-up, Jean had started harassing her. When the police were called to come to the scene, Jean was found standing outside Marianne’s home before the cops took her away.

Marianne Claims That Jean Was Physically Abusive Toward Her German Shepherd Dog

According to Marianne, who spoke to The Sun newspaper at the time, Jean was guilty of a number of crimes. In the official court file, Marianne claimed that Jean had engaged in disorderly conduct, forcible touching, coercion, and grand larceny. And that’s not even the worst of it.

Marianne recalled how a deluded Jean stole her son’s plastic toy gun for a student film she was making, before pointing the fake firearm at Marianne and claiming it was real. Apparently, Jean even kicked Marianne’s German Shepherd dog in a hideous display of animal abuse. Whatever the truth is, Jean sure knows how to get into trouble.

Marianne Calls Her Ex a Sociopathic Narcissist After Jean Was Caught Vengefully Sharing Nude Photos

According to Marianne, Jean had kept topless photos that were taken back when they were dating, and was now using them against her. She told The Sun: “On the day I was moving she came to my new home with topless photos of me.” Which is obviously not what any of us want being passed around when we’re new to a neighborhood!

“She was handing them out to passersby. She wanted to harass and humiliate me,” Marianne continued before warning people about Jean’s character. “She [Jean] is a sociopath and narcissist. If you get in her path, she will say and do anything, she does not care… She is very scary, evil and vile. She is vindictive, dangerous and mad.”

Michael Is Accused of Recording His Sister-In-Law Undressing and Then Forking Over Guilt-Money

If you thought that Jean’s allegations against Michael had been bad enough, it gets even worse. Jean had accused Michael of video recording her younger sister Denise, pictured center-right. She claimed that Michael had done this two years before they got married in 1999.

Jean had told the Supreme Court: “I had found video equipment in my bedroom. He had been taping my sister undressing.” On top of that, she claimed her ex-husband “wired $30,000” to a personal bank account of hers that sat in North Dakota.

Jean Muggli’s Sister Denise Could Be Her Twin

Jean (third from the left) and her little sister might look like siblings, but Jean actually is the older sibling. Denise, pictured on the far right, works in the fashion industry, and was by her big sister’s side in court throughout the divorce and custody battles. But not an awful lot is known about the mysterious Denise.

One thing is clear however, and that’s that the Muggli family are very close knit. They celebrate each other on their social media accounts, and the sisters appear to have another sister and two brothers. Whatever happened with Michael filming Denise, it didn’t impact their relationship much.

Jean Accuses Michael of Lying About His Sexuality and Names One of His Supposed Partners

During the divorce proceedings, things took a surprisingly nasty turn. Jean accused Michael of underperforming his “duties” due to his homosexual feelings and recalled a time in his life when he acted on them. “Michael moved into Ian’s one-bedroom apartment… And you can say an alternative lifestyle sprouted,” she stated.

According to the Daily News, she was then stopped by her lawyer before she could continue. The man in question was TV doctor Ian Smith, known for his appearances on shows like The Doctors, Celebrity Fit Club, and The View. Michael and Ian had been friends and were often spotted out together.

Michael Goes on to the Wendy Williams Radio Show to Talk About Jean’s Allegations

When Jean accused Michael of being gay, Michael and his attorney Robert Penza strongly denied the allegation. Michael went on to Wendy Williams’ radio show to defend himself: “If this were true, it would hit the fan from the get-go,” he told Wendy. “I have plenty of friends that are bi or homosexual. It’s fine with me.”

“This is New York City. If you can’t accept people for being people, then you have no business being here.” Michael added: “I don’t frown on anybody for that lifestyle, it’s not my lifestyle. And you know, I just laugh. All that matters is that I’m gonna take care of my kids.”

Ian Tells the Public That He and Michael Were Never an Item and That He Is a Happily Married Man

Michael did admit to living with the TV doctor many years ago but was adamant that Jean’s accusation just wasn’t true. He explained that Ian had simply been a generous host: “When I had to stay somewhere, he opened his door. It’s not that I couldn’t stay at any hotel I want.”

Michael wasn’t the only one denying that he was homosexual – his friend Ian Smith also commented on the accusation. Ian stated that he was a “happily married man” now, which would have made it impossible for him and Michael to have had a romantic or sexual relationship.

Michael Whisks Kayla Away on Vacation In What Is a Rare Sighting of the Couple

Michael and Kayla keep their personal life private. But a sunny vacation in St. Bart’s showed us just how loved up they really are. Whatever any of us thinks about Michael, he at least seems to have a found happiness in his current relationship. But he’s all too aware that good things in life take work.

“A lot of people ask me, ‘Okay, how did you go from football to commentating to morning TV? You seem so happy.’ I truly am happy,” he said in an interview with People Magazine the same year he started dating Kayla. “I respect waking up every day and feeling fortunate to do what I do and having the people in my life that I have, but it’s something you have to train yourself to do.”

Are Michael and Kayla Serious? Because He’s Been Spotted With Someone New

We know they’re relationship is a serious one, not just because of how long it’s been that they’ve been dating. Michael has been spotted hanging out with Kayla’s family members, too, and Kayla gets invited to all of Michael’s family gatherings. Naturally, Michael and Jean don’t see one another despite their co-parenting.

Naturally, the media and the public are curious as to whether the couple of six years will ever tie the knot. But the jury’s still out, and in the summer of 2021 Michael was spotted having dinner with a new person. It was lifestyle blogger Marianna Hewitt, but it’s not clear if their dinner date was of a romantic nature.

Michael Tells the Truth About What It Was Really Like To Work With Kelly Ripa

Michael’s self-proclaimed “work wife” Kelly Ripa was once a significant woman in his life. They co-hosted Live! With Kelly and Michael together and appeared to have great on-screen chemistry. But recently Michael has lifted the lid on what it was really like when they were together up until 2016.

Michael and Kelly definitely had a strained relationship: “When it was time to go, it was time to go. Certain things that were going on behind the scenes just caught up.” Michael’s decision to leave the show caused a controversy at the time, especially when Kelly decided to take an unplanned week off from the show following the news.

Efforts Had Been Made for Michael and Kelly to Work Better Together, but to No Avail

Michael explained how he tried to make their partnership work: “One thing I tried to do is have a meeting every few weeks with her. We met a few times, and that was fine. But then eventually she said she didn’t need to meet… Can’t force somebody to do something they don’t want to do.”

Despite this, Michael claimed to have no hard feelings towards Kelly. “If people think, ‘Oh, he hates her’ – I don’t hate her. I do respect her for what she can do at her job. I cannot say enough about how good she is at her job.” But there was more. According to Michael, Kelly had shown him her selfish side.

Michael Calls Out His Former Show’s “Selfish” Behavior and Claims That He Felt Like a “Sidekick”

Michael spoke to The New York Times in an interview, where he revealed that he had felt like a “sidekick.” He stated: “On television, I’ve had jobs where I got there and felt like: ‘Wow, I didn’t know I was supposed to be a sidekick. I thought I was coming here to be a partner.'”

For Michael, working on Live! With Kelly and Michael made him realize that there wasn’t as much teamwork as he had hoped. “I want us all to be successful. I’ve done things where I went in with team concepts, and I got there and realized it’s not about team. It’s selfish, and I don’t operate well under that.”

Michael’s Focus Shifts to His Kids as Family Plays a More Important Role in His Life

In an interview with People magazine, Michael gushed about his twin daughters and claimed to be moving on from his drama-filled past by focusing on his kids: “My kids give me strength. I love being with the kids. To me, it’s all about family, now more than anything.”

About living in the Upper West Side in New York, Michael said: “I like the Upper West Side, because, being a father, I like the family feel to it. you see mothers with strollers, people walking their dogs. One thing I love about the neighbourhood, when you go into places, it’s not like, ‘Michael!’ I’m another person who’s just there.”

Meet Michael’s Wife During the 90s, Wanda Hutchins

Interestingly, Jean wasn’t Michael’s first wife. He had been married to Wanda Hutchins for a period of four years, from 1992 to 1996. She is an interior designer and decorator with her very own business called Wanda Home Designs, and favors DIY and repurposing old items into new ones.

As we can see, she’s a gorgeous woman, too. As we’ll come to find out, Michael has dated more than a few beautiful women in his life, and his first wife Wanda is no exception. Only someone who was truly good-looking would be able to pull off this edgy hairstyle!

Michael’s Eldest Daughter Has Inherited a Lot of His Features

Not only did Michael have a wife before Jean entered the picture, but he also had kids with her before he and Wanda eventually divorced. Together, Michael and Wanda have a charming daughter called Tanita, and an athletic son who they named Michael Anthony Strahan, Jr.

Pictured above, Tanita poses with her mom Wanda for a cute Instagram photo. We can definitely see the resemblance Tanita shares with both of her parents. With Michael in the public eye and Wanda being busy with her interior design business, Tanita has found her own passions in life.

Luckily, Wanda and Michael Are on Great Terms

If you’re wondering how Michael and Wanda get along, we can put your mind at ease. His relationship with his first wife is far better than his relationship with his second wife Jean, or any of his other exes for that matter. They always put their kids first and learned early on that they would need to leave their issues out of their family life.

As we can see above, Michael and his extended family are about to indulge in a fancy dinner, and Wanda has a seat at the table, too. If Michael went to the trouble of getting all of his four children in one room to enjoy some quality family time, he had to have the mother of two of his children, Wanda, there as well. We love to see it.

Michael’s Baby Girl Tanita Is Living Her Best Life

As of the end of 2021, Tanita is 30 years old and a professional visual artist. She’s hardly a baby girl anymore, even if her parents still want to treat her like one. She even has a boyfriend these days, and we know it’s serious because he’s been invited to the family get-togethers. We can see why, though – the pair of them are totally adorable.

When Tanita turned 30, Michael took to Instagram to gush about his beloved eldest daughter. He wrote: “Tanita, you gave me the greatest gift in life… being a father!” Michael continued: “You were the first person I celebrated being drafted with… You are looking absolutely beautiful celebrating your 30th bday yesterday!” He added, “Keep using your creativity to bring joy to the world.”

Sophia and Isabella Are Growing Up Fast

Tanita isn’t the only one who’s growing up right in front of Michael’s eyes. His daughters Isabella and Sophia, his twin girls with Jean, are now 18 years old and doing typical teenage things like seeing friends, experimenting with their personal style, and finding their passions.

Both of the twins already have a passion for professional horse riding. But lately, they’ve been exhibiting some of their dad’s showbiz qualities. Both Isabella and Sophia have begun dipping their toes into high fashion modeling and are proving to be especially photogenic. Don’t be surprised if they become major household names one day…

For Some Reason Jean Sometimes Joins Them on a Shoot

The teenager twins modeled for a cosmetics brand recently, Jones Road Beauty, and surprisingly momma Jean popped upright in the middle of the promo shot. Jean is rarely spotted these days, as it appears she prefers more of a reclusive life away from the limelight.

Today, she’s 56 years old and looking fantastic, so we’re not surprised she wanted to get in front of the camera. That being said, it’s not the only time that Jean has joined Isabella and Sophia on a photoshoot for a brand. It also happened once before for another cosmetics company…

Jean Also Joined Her Twins on a Haircare Campaign

Mama Jean cropped up in the promo shots for the beauty, cosmetics, and personal care company Philip B. Botanicals, too. Posted in 2021, the company captioned this image: “Happy Mother’s Day! Today we’re celebrating moms and strong female role models everywhere.”

Perhaps they didn’t catch the news of Jean getting arrested recently. They continued in the image caption: “These two generations of beauties use PHILIP B. to care for their gorgeous curls. Tap to see their must-have products!” While mom and her daughters do have different types of curl patterns, they are undeniably stunning.

Stefani Vara Could Have Been Mrs Strahan

Michael has only ever walked down the aisle twice before. But he was in another very serious relationship with Stefani Vara in the mid-2000s. From 2006 to 2007, Michael dated the self-titled “foot model turned entrepreneur” and took her to a bunch of his public engagements.

These days she’s living in Houston, Texas, working in several different creative job roles. She calls herself a speaker, a host, a motivational influencer, and a recording artist. If there’s one thing we know for certain, it’s that Stefani Vara is one ambitious person. Sadly, however, it didn’t work out between her and Michael.

Michael’s Relationship With Marianna Hewitt Didn’t Last Very Long

Michael also tried his luck with the social media influencer, podcaster, and Instagram model Marianna Hewitt. The pair were spotted driving around in Michael’s Bentley, arriving at a hotel together, and going inside. Michael is over 10 years older than Marianna, but didn’t appear to be a concern.

Marianna was also seen taking Michael’s arm, so we’re pretty confident that they were on a date. But it wasn’t long before they apparently called it quits, as the dinner dates and hotel reservations came to an abrupt end. We don’t know why it ended, only that it did.

Jean Doesn’t Need to Work With a Predicted Net Worth of $13 Million

And how is Jean doing? As of 2021, it was predicted that Jean has a net worth of around $13 million, which should afford her a very comfortable life. It is thought that she spends most of her time looking after her daughters, but her social media accounts suggest she’s made a career for herself in the engineering world.

We do know that Jean studied at the highly-esteemed University of Oxford, as well as Moorehead State University, and is currently a president and domestic engineer at Strahan Family INC. From the sounds of it, she’s created a whole other life for herself away from the public eye.

Michael Continues To Bite His Lip About His Girlfriend Kayla

As of yet, Michael is still keeping shtum about his relationship with Kayla Quick. He’s taking a totally different approach in this relationship that protects his privacy, and we can understand why. After his ordeal with Jean being highly publicized by the media, Michael is reluctant to share too much.

But we do know that he met the young woman at a bar in Port Charlotte, Florida, where she was working as a cocktail waitress at the time. Not much is known about Kayla’s family, but it is understood that both her sister and her father have a history with crime.

Michael’s Parents Have Been a Major Influence on Him

Throughout all of Michael’s relationships, his parents have stood by his side. Take a look at the talk show host with his parents Gene and Louise – they’re simply adorable. And as it turns out, Michael owes his dad a lot for his successful career. He stated: “My father is the most influential person in my career in [terms of] attitude.”

Michael continued to explain that Gene gave him “the understanding that nobody gives you anything in life, you have to earn it.” According to Michael, “My dad wanted to be an army officer, and to do that he needed to go to college. He had five kids and I was on the way, but he took a chance on himself.” Gene ended up graduating in his thirties and becoming an army officer. No doubt, that taught Michael to keep fighting even when the going gets tough.