New-York Historical Society's Bill Shannon Dictionary of New York Sports

Joe Louis

Joe Louis (Boxing. Born, Lafayette, AL, May 13, 1914; died, Las Vegas, NV, Apr. 12, 1981.) Famed around the world as the “Brown Bomber,” Joseph Louis Barrow was one of the most active of heavyweight champions – making 25 defenses of the title. He turned pro after becoming the A.A.U. light heavyweight titlist in 1934 and won the heavyweight title June 22, 1937, knocking out Jim Braddock in eight rounds in Chicago. Over his career, Louis was 21-1 in New York fights and was 11-0 in title defenses held here. He fought seven times in Yankee Stadium, twice in the Polo Grounds, and from 1938-47 was 8-0 with seven knockouts in Madison Square Garden. His rematch with Billy Conn at Yankee Stadium in 1946, promoted by Mike Jacobs, was the first ever $100-per-ticket ringside fight. Many of Louis’ defenses came under the heading of “the Bum-of-the-Month Club,” but he also fought many famous fights against the best heavyweights in the world, including Max Schmeling (1938) and Jersey Joe Walcott (1947 and 1948). Louis lost four years of his career when he joined the U.S. Army in 1942. He did not fight again until June 19, 1946, when he kayoed Conn in eight rounds in that rematch at the Stadium.

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The Bill Shannon Biographical Dictionary of New York Sports is an open database of sports biographies maintained by Jordan Sprechman and Marty Appel. We welcome public and scholarly contributions and suggestions.

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About Bill Shannon

A prolific author, wire service sports reporter, long time Major League Baseball official scorer, football statistician, sports museum founder, theatrical agency owner and public ... read more

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