- Raised by his maternal grandmother in Clarksdale, MS.
- As a child he played in mud puddles so his grandmother called him "Muddy." Later, playmates attached "Waters" to the nickname.
- At 13 years old, played the harmonica; four years later, switched to the acoustic guitar.
- In 1943, moved to Chicago to further his music career. A year later bought his first electric guitar.
- In 1958, became the first singer to showcase electric blues in England.
- First hit song, "I Can't Be Satisfied," came in 1948 and helped shape the Chicago Blues sound.
- In 1969, was severely injured in a car accident and never fully recovered.
- Relocated to Westmont, IL, in 1973. City honored him in 2005 with the Muddy Waters Historical Exhibit and Blues Tribute, an event that became part of the town's annual Blues festival.
- Included with premiere inductees into the Blues Hall of Fame in 1980.
- In 1983, won first accolade for music; song "Got My Mojo Working" earned a W.C. Handy Blues Award for Single of the Year.
- In 1987, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.