Save money on your next flight

Skyscanner is the world’s leading flight search engine, helping you find the cheapest flights to destinations all over the world.

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is a world-famous professional wrestler, actor and businessman. But many fans don’t know that when Johnson was just 14 years old, his family was evicted from their home in Hawaii.

This traumatic event had a significant impact on Johnson’s life and motivated him to succeed.

In this in-depth article, we will explore the reasons behind Johnson’s childhood eviction, including financial struggles and discrimination his family faced.

We’ll also discuss how the experience shaped Johnson’s character and drove him to achieve his dreams.

Finally, we’ll clarify some common misconceptions about the circumstances surrounding the eviction.

Johnson’s Early Life in Hawaii

His father’s wrestling career

Dwayne Johnson grew up in a family of wrestlers in Hawaii. His father, Rocky Johnson, was a famous professional wrestler who made a name for himself in the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) in the 1970s and 1980s.

Known by his ring name “Soul Man” Rocky Johnson, Dwayne’s father was the first African American World Tag Team Champion in WWF history.

He teamed up with Tony Atlas as The Soul Patrol and the two went on to win the World Tag Team Championship in 1983.

Rocky Johnson moved his family to Hawaii when Dwayne was still young. Even after relocating to the islands, Rocky continued his wrestling career, becoming one of the biggest stars in local promotions in Hawaii.

He frequently toured the islands for wrestling events, leaving home for weeks at a time.

This meant that young Dwayne did not get to spend a lot of time with his busy father as he was growing up.

Growing up in a tough neighborhood

The family lived in a small apartment in Honolulu, in an area rife with crime and violence.

In his autobiography The Rock Says, Johnson described it as the kind of neighborhood where outsiders were afraid to visit after dark. Criminality, drugs, and gang violence were commonplace.

As a child and teenager, Dwayne himself got involved in theft and vandalism, landing him in trouble with the authorities on more than one occasion.

Living in these difficult circumstances meant that Dwayne had to grow up quickly. With his father often away for weeks at a time, he took it upon himself from a young age to protect and provide for his mother and younger siblings.

This tough upbringing instilled in him values of hard work, resilience, and determination to overcome difficult odds.

The Key Factors That Led to Eviction

Financial struggles made paying rent difficult

In the early 1990s, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, then known as Dwayne Johnson, was a promising college football player at the University of Miami. However, after graduating in 1995, Johnson struggled to find stability and pay the bills.

He first tried his hand in the NFL, getting cut after only a couple of months. Without a steady career path, Johnson faced challenges making enough money to pay rent and living expenses in Hawaii, where he had relocated after college.

During this difficult financial period, Johnson admits that eviction notices were piling up for his small studio apartment in Hawaii.

Despite taking on odd jobs and working long hours, he found himself facing late fees and threats of eviction on multiple occasions.

His dreams of playing professional football had crumbled, and he struggled to identify a viable career that would provide the income he needed.

These early financial hurdles almost prevented Johnson from getting his big break in entertainment wrestling.

Facing discrimination exacerbated challenges

In addition to financial struggles, Johnson also faced racial discrimination as a half-Black and half-Samoan man in Hawaii during the 90s.

In his memoir The Rock Says, Johnson recalls how he was treated differently by landlords, staff, and residents than white tenants.

Facing this discrimination made an already challenging housing and financial situation even harder for Johnson.

Johnson’s experiences with discrimination exacerbated his struggles to pay rent on time. Landlords were quicker to issue eviction warnings and threats over late or missed payments despite his efforts to work multiple jobs.

The discrimination Johnson faced in Hawaii during his early adulthood reveals the additional barriers and challenges marginalized groups face when trying to secure safe, affordable housing.

The Eviction and Its Aftermath

Receiving the devastating eviction notice

In 2007, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson was living with his family in a cozy house nestled in the lush green mountains of Oahu, Hawaii.

After years of renting, he finally bought his dream home. However, just a few months later, the devastating eviction notice arrived.

According to The Rock’s interview with Rolling Stone magazine, it stated that he had 30 days to vacate the premises due to a foreclosure.

Apparently, the previous owners had not paid the mortgage for months.

As Johnson recounted, “We were evicted. It was so hard. All I wanted to do was create security and a future for my family that was stable.”

The once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to live in paradise had been ripped away. His pregnant wife and young daughter were distraught.

After years of optimism that his acting career would take off, he now faced utter defeat. The eviction plunged Johnson into a dark depression. It was one of the lowest points of his life.

Also read: The 10 Best Places To Live In Oahu

Coping with the loss of their home

In the aftermath of the devastating news, Johnson struggled to come to terms with the eviction. He had to quickly find a new place for his family to live while also dealing with the emotional toll.

As he told People magazine, Johnson spent many sleepless nights wondering how he was going to provide for his loved ones.

The paralyzing depression even led him to self-medicate as a coping mechanism.

However, his family helped him move forward. His wife and daughter motivated him to keep pursuing his dreams no matter how many setbacks he faced. Although the eviction was devastating, it taught him resilience and perseverance.

Johnson was determined to rebuild and create an even better life for his family. The eviction notice was a catalyst that pushed him to work harder than ever before.

Within a few years, his breakthrough role in Fast Five catapulted him to global fame and success beyond his wildest dreams.

Johnson proved that you can overcome even the bleakest hardships if you stay positive and keep fighting.

How the Eviction Shaped Johnson’s Work Ethic and Compassion

Developing a strong work ethic and drive to succeed

Getting evicted at age 14 was a formative experience for Dwayne Johnson that lit a fire in him to work hard and chase his dreams of becoming a professional wrestler.

After his family was kicked out of their small apartment in Hawaii, Johnson realized he needed to step up and contribute.

This motivated him to take on multiple jobs after school – from unloading trucks to serving as a debt collector.

Johnson has said the eviction gave him “that inherent drive that wakes me up early in the morning and makes sure that laziness never creeps in.”

That unstoppable work ethic undoubtedly paved the way for his meteoric success in wrestling and later in Hollywood.

Beyond just hard work, the eviction also instilled in Johnson the mindset that he needed to seize opportunities when they arose.

When he got the chance to play football at the University of Miami, he maximized that opportunity despite having no prior experience.

And when WWE offered him a contract in 1996, Johnson again leapt at the opportunity and helped usher in the company’s Attitude Era.

According to Johnson, almost losing everything in Hawaii “created that relentless drive to succeed against all odds.”

That drive has powered him to become one of the biggest stars on the planet.

Gaining empathy for those facing hardship

In addition to strengthening his work ethic, going through homelessness and poverty as a teenager also gave Dwayne Johnson profound empathy for people dealing with similar struggles.

In interviews, Johnson has spoken emotionally about how terrifying and stressful it was for his family to be evicted with nowhere to go. He uses that painful memory as motivation to help others in need today.

Johnson frequently reaches out on social media to people who are down on their luck, offering words of encouragement and support. In some cases, he has even sent cash gifts to help cover food, rent, or medical bills.

As Johnson said, “I know what it’s like to be evicted and I know what it’s like to have the collections companies calling nonstop.”

His compassion inspired him to launch the Dwayne Johnson Rock Foundation in 2006, which works with at-risk and hospitalized children.

When discussing the foundation’s work, Johnson often reflects on his own boyhood trauma, showing how the eviction fueled his heart for service.

The eviction may have been humiliating for his family at the time, but it was undoubtedly the fire that forged Johnson’s tireless work ethic and deep well of compassion for the underdog.

Those qualities built on that early hardship are a major key to his status as one of the most popular public figures today.

Johnson’s Advice for Overcoming Adversity

Maintaining positivity in challenging times

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has faced numerous obstacles throughout his life, from getting evicted as a teenager to suffering multiple injuries during his wrestling career.

However, Johnson believes the key to overcoming adversity is maintaining a positive mindset.

In an interview with SUCCESS magazine, Johnson explained: “Positivity breeds productivity. To get different results, you need to approach challenges with a different perspective.”

Johnson recommends focusing on solutions rather than problems. He said, “Whenever I’ve faced setbacks, I’ve tried to look at them as opportunities to learn and grow. If you change the way you look at a challenge – see it as a chance to get stronger and wiser – then you’re already winning.”

The famous actor and wrestler highlighted the importance of believing in oneself, even when doubts creep in.

As he put it, “Trust that you have the inner strength to push through any struggle that comes your way.”

Supporting family and community

In addition to staying positive, Johnson stresses the significance of surrounding oneself with a strong support system.

He told Muscle and Fitness magazine, “Having a loving family and loyal friends by my side has made overcoming hardships much easier.”

Johnson said his loved ones keep him grounded and remind him what truly matters in life.

Giving back to one’s community can also provide inspiration and strength during difficult times according to Johnson.

He regularly visits children’s hospitals and supports various charities focused on youth outreach and empowerment.

Johnson explained, “When you contribute to the lives of others, it gives you a sense of purpose – a reason to keep fighting no matter what obstacles you face.”

Though Johnson achieved tremendous success in entertainment, he said his philanthropic work and time with family bring him the most joy and fulfillment.


In summary, financial struggles and discrimination made it impossible for Johnson’s family to continue affording their home, resulting in a traumatic eviction.

While this was an incredibly difficult experience, it lit a fire within Johnson to work hard and succeed so he could support his family.

He emerged more driven, yet compassionate.

Johnson hopes his story can motivate others facing challenges. He advises maintaining positivity, leaning on family and community, and never giving up on your dreams – advice he clearly took to heart in his own legendary journey to superstardom.

Sharing is caring!

Similar Posts