Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (born Ferdinand Lewis "Lew" Alcindor, Jr., April 16, 1947) is an American retired basketball player, coach, actor, and author. During his career with the NBA's Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Lakers from 1969 to 1989, Abdul-Jabbar scored more points than any other player in league history, won six NBA championships and a record six regular season MVP Awards. In college at UCLA, he played on three championship teams, and his high school team won 71 consecutive games. At the time of his retirement, Abdul-Jabbar was the NBA's all-time leader in points scored, games played, minutes played, field goals made, field goal attempts, blocked shots, defensive rebounds, and personal fouls.
Abdul-Jabbar was born Ferdinand Lewis Alcindor, Jr on April 16, 1947, and grew up in Manhattan in New York City, the only child of Cora Lillian, a department store price checker, and Ferdinand Lewis Alcindor, Sr, a transit police officer and jazz musician. At birth, he weighed 12 pounds, 10 ounces (5.73 kg), and was twenty-two and a half inches (57.2 cm) long. He was raised as a Catholic and attended St. Jude School in the Inwood section of Manhattan. Later in life he converted to Islam. He initially joined the Nation of Islam in 1968, before retaking the Shahada and converting to Sunni Islam that same summer.
From an early age he began his record-breaking basketball accomplishments. In high school, he led Power Memorial Academy to three straight New York City Catholic championships, a 71-game winning streak, and a 79–2 overall record.