Joe Louis

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Related to Joe Louis: Jack Dempsey, Rocky Marciano

Louis, Joe

(Joseph Louis Barrow) (lo͞o`ĭs), 1914–81, American boxer, b. Lafayette, Ala. His father, a sharecropper, died when Louis was four years old, and in 1926 his stepfather took the family to Detroit, where Louis became interested in boxing. At 18 he began an amateur career in the ring. After winning (1934) the National Amateur Athletic Union light heavyweight title, Louis turned professional. In a meteoric rise, Louis—with magnificent physique, lightning punches, and stolid calmness—fought his way from the ranks of beginners to become (1937) the world heavyweight champion by knocking out James J. Braddock in the eighth round at Chicago. In 1938 he knocked out Max SchmelingSchmeling, Max
(Maximilian Schmeling), 1905–2005, German boxer. He debuted as a professional fighter in 1924 and came to the United States in 1928. Two years later the methodical slugger beat heavyweight champion Jack Sharkey (by a foul) to become Europe's first world
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—who had been the only man ever to defeat Louis (by a 12-round knockout in 1936) in professional boxing—in the first round in New York City. By the time he announced his retirement from the ring in 1949, Louis, often called the "Brown Bomber" by his admirers, had won 60 bouts, 51 by knockouts, and defended his title a record 25 times, scoring 21 knockouts. Louis came out of retirement in 1950, lost a decision to Ezzard Charles, and was knocked out (1951) by Rocky MarcianoMarciano, Rocky
, 1924–69, American boxer, b. Brockton, Mass. His real name was Rocco Francis Marchegiano. Failing to become a professional baseball player, Marciano turned to boxing and won 27 of 30 amateur bouts before he turned professional in 1947.
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, after which he retired. In 71 professional bouts Louis was defeated only three times.


See his autobiographies (1947, 1978); biographies by C. Mead (1985), R. Bak (1996), and R. Roberts (2010); L. A. Erenberg, The Greatest Fight of Our Generation: Louis vs. Schmeling (2005); D. Margolick, Beyond Glory: Joe Louis vs. Max Schmeling, and a World on the Brink (2005).

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Louis, Joe (b. Joe Louis Barrow)

(1914–81) boxer; born in Lafayette, Ala. His reign as heavyweight champion of 11 years, eight months, is the longest in boxing history (1937–49). He turned professional in 1934 and won the heavyweight title in 1937 with a knockout of James J. Braddock in the eighth round. He defended his title 25 times, a record for any weight division, and posted a career record of 68 wins, three losses, with 54 knockouts. Nicknamed, "The Brown Bomber," he was a devastating puncher with either hand. His grace and seeming invincibility inspired African-Americans and won him fans throughout the world. Poor management of his earnings, however, left him practically destitute in his later years and he was often dependent on charitable gifts and such jobs as a "greeter" at a gambling casino. His autobiography, Joe Louis: My Life, was published in 1978.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.
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Besides receiving various recognitions from both public and private sectors, Joe Louis Theatre also won the "Best Traditional Performance" award at the 2006 World Festival of Puppet Art competition in 2006 in Prague, Czech Republic.
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She may be right about the amount of space, but many other figures of the time loomed larger in the public mind, including FDR in politics and Joe Louis in sports.
DAVE ANDERSON, NewYork Times, on why you had to have two good feet to fight Joe Louis: "First, just to get into the ring with him and second, to be dragged out by them after he hit you."
as well as protesters against racial segregation; and he snapped celebrities, including Duke Ellington, Joe Louis, Paul Robeson, and Bill "Bojangles" Robinson.
Then there was the Maine event in 1964 with Sonny Liston, and the sneer in the voices of the ringside commentators who wanted the punk to fall - he was dangerous because, unlike Liston and Joe Louis before him, he was not only dark and strong but also brash and fast, cocky and quick like no Negro they had seen before.
When Joe Louis sent James Braddock to Madison Square Garden's well-worn canvas on a balmy evening in June of 1937, Louis became only the second black American to win the coveted championship of boxing's heavyweight division.
Braddock, the heavyweight champion of the world, when Joe Louis was destroying him, blood spraying, and his manager between rounds wanting to stop the fight, said: "No, I won the title in the ring, I'm going to lose it in the ring." And, after more damage, did.