Who is Juanita Vanoy, Michael Jordan’s First Wife? Wiki-Bio, Divorce.

At this point, it is safe to say that Michael Jordan has transcended the sport of basketball. Undoubtedly the greatest player to have ever played the game, there are not a lot of people who have not heard of Michael Jordan. Once the face of Nike, everything Jordan touched instantly rose to worldwide fame. While everything on the man has been either written or made into movies, his early life with Juanita Vanoy remains relatively secret. Juanita is Jordan’s first wife and the pair stayed together for quite a while. In this article, we take a closer look at the wiki-bio of Juanita Vanoy.

Early Life and career:

Juanita Vanoy was born on the 13th of June 1959, in Chicago, Illinois. Born and raised in Chicago, little is known about Juanita. Before her association with Jordan, Juanita enjoyed life away from the eye of the media. But an aspiring model, one could always say that Juanita was destined for fame. Much of Juanita’s professional life revolved around Jordan and his career.

former american model and ex-wife of Michael Jordan, Juanita Vanoy.
Former American model and ex-wife of Michael Jordan, Juanita Vanoy.

She began her professional life as a model but later started working as an executive secretary for the American Bar Association. She later started working as a loan officer at Heitman Financial Services. A fan of writing, Juanita wrote every now and then for Copley News Service. Following her marriage to Jordan, Juanita co-founded and then managed the Michael and Juanita Jordan Endowment Fund.

Meeting Jordan:

Juanita and Michael in 1984 at a Bennigan restaurant in Chicago. During the time, Juanita was working as a loan officer and was trying to earn her associate’s degree. Jordan was just coming off a Bulls game and was introduced to Juanita by a mutual friend. The pair took an instant liking to each other and Jordan proposed on New Year’s Eve in 1987.

Problems along the way:

While Juanita said Yes in 1987, it took the pair another two years to get married. On the 18th of November, 1988, Juanita gave birth to Jeffrey Michael Jordan, who is the eldest son of Michael Jordan. During the Pregnancy of Jeffrey, Juanita felt that Michael would not listen to her and even went so far as hiring a legal representative. But after a few months, Michael admitted the paternity, and the pair tied the knot in 2nd of September 1989, at the Little White Chapel in Las Vegas.

Life as a mother:

Following the marriage, Juanita and Michael went onto have two more children. Their second child Marcus Jordan was born on December 24, 1990, and was followed by a daughter, Jasmine M. Jordan who was born on December 7, 1992. While all three of Jordan’s and Juanita’s children played basketball, none of them decided to go to the NBA. As a mother, Juanita always encouraged her kids to not take credit from their father and make a name for themselves.


“When they were growing up, most coaches wanted them to wear No. 23. insisted that they not do that. It was important to me. I wanted to make sure that their skills were going to be what they made them and that it was based on how hard they worked.”


Juanita first filed for divorce from Jordan in 2002 citing irreconcilable differences. However, Juanita withdrew her application after a month and the pair were committed to working things out. However, things did not change and in 2006, Juanita and Jordan announced that they were getting a divorce. A statement from the pair’s lawyer read,

“Michael and Juanita Jordan mutually and amicably decided to end their 17-year marriage. A judgment for the dissolution of their marriage was entered today. There will be no further statements”.

She received a total of $168 million in settlement, recorded as one of the largest celebrity divorce settlements during the period. A lot of rumors spread citing the reasons why Vanoy filed for divorces among them Jordan’s alleged affair with Karla Knafel is the most famous one.

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