Jack Johnson

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Johnson, Jack

(John Arthur Johnson), 1878–1946, American boxer, b. Galveston, Tex., the son of two ex-slaves. Emerging from the battle royals (dehumanizing fights between blacks for the amusement of white patrons) of his youth, he defeated Tommy Burns in 1908 to become the world's first African-American heavyweight champion. After an interracial marriage and his defeat of several white hopefuls, Johnson was convicted in 1913 under contrived circumstances for violation of a federal law. He fled to Europe and remained a champion in exile until he lost in a 1915 bout in Cuba, knocked out in the 26th round by Jess Willard. Upon his return to the United States in 1920, he served a year in prison.


See biographies by R. Roberts (1985) and G. C. Ward (2004).

Johnson, (John Arthur) Jack

(1878–1946) boxer; born in Galveston, Texas. The first black to win the world heavyweight title, he was one of boxing's greatest and most controversial champions. He worked as a janitor, dockhand, and stableboy before becoming a professional boxer in 1899. After winning the title in 1908 with a knockout of Tommy Burns, he defended the championship against a succession of "great white hopes," including former champion James J. Jeffries, who came out of a six-year retirement in 1910 only to be knocked out in the 15th round. Because of his flamboyance and self-confidence—and his marriage to a white woman—Johnson incurred the wrath of racist politicians and religious leaders who successfully secured a Mann Act conviction against him in 1913. He took sanctuary in Europe and lost the championship in 1915 to Jess Willard by a knockout in the 26th round. Johnson later returned to the U.S.A. to serve his sentence and to fight in boxing exhibitions. He spent his final years operating nightclubs and working in carnivals. He posted a career record of 78 wins, eight losses, and 12 no-decisions, with 45 knockouts. A play (1968) and motion picture (1970) based on his life, The Great White Hope, starred James Earl Jones.
References in periodicals archive ?
But Jack Johnson was determined from an early age that he would not be told what to do by white people, regardless of the consequences.
I would like to recognize and thank Jack Johnson who led FXI through a restructuring and helped position the Company for short- and long-term success," said Greg Ethridge a Partner of MatlinPatterson Global Advisers LLC, FXI's majority sponsor.
Fans are urged to obtain 2014 Jack Johnson tickets at their earliest convenience to ensure that they will be able to acquire good seats.
The dynamic, freestanding boxer in Jack Johnson is an homage to a national African American hero.
SEATTLE & LOS ANGELES -- Jack Johnson's Brushfire Records and leading social music discovery service iLike, announced that the label's first annual holiday CD compilation, featuring a track from each artist on the Brushfire roster (including two Jack Johnson songs and an original track written and recorded by Rogue Wave), will world premiere on iLike and iLike's Facebook[R] app beginning today (November 6).
BOHEMIAN troubadour singer Jack Johnson is backing a campaign to make Britain more organic by donating part of the proceeds from his concerts.
In the albums chart, Hawaiian-born singer-songwriter, Jack Johnson, knocks new kid on the block, Adele, off her Pavement with his fifth studio album, Sleep Through The Static.
Jack Johnson, Labour co-ordinator, St Michael's ward
Mellow musician Jack Johnson provides seven new songs for the film, and his calm, carefree voice makes him a cozy fit for the soundtrack.
I wondered what it was as it passed over me,' said shopper Jack Johnson, 42 of Northfield.
MINNEAPOLIS -- From the first Concert for the Environment in the '90s to the latest Jack Johnson world tour -- to significantly boosting revenues for an array of organic brands like Ben & Jerry's, Stonyfield and CLIF Bar -- MusicMatters is proving that green experiences generate dramatic results.