Jack Johnson
American boxer
Jack Johnson
John Arthur Johnson (March 31, 1878 – June 10, 1946), nicknamed the “Galveston Giant,” was an American boxer. At the height of the Jim Crow era, Johnson became the first African American world heavyweight boxing champion (1908–1915). In a documentary about his life, Ken Burns notes, "for more than thirteen years, Jack Johnson was the most famous and the most notorious African-American on Earth. " He is considered a boxing legend and was the first person ever to knock down James J.
Biography
Jack Johnson's personal information overview.
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News
News abour Jack Johnson from around the web
Multi-season athletic passes are a great bargain - Great Falls Tribune
Google News - over 5 years
ELECTRIC CITYfootball fans who can't take in Great Falls High and CM Russell High games this season are welcome to watch replays, complete with comments from head coaches Matt Krahe and Jack Johnson, during weekly meetings of the GFH Quarterbacks Club
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Jazz Aspen Snowmass finds its groove is ever-changing - Aspen Times
Google News - over 5 years
That's no longer the case; if Jazz Aspen were to fold now, there would be a glaring absence of a stage in the Aspen area for the likes of Neil Young, the Black Eyed Peas and Jack Johnson, and for Widespread Panic, Herbie Hancock, Willie Nelson and
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Butte Bulldogs in town to take on CMR - Great Falls Tribune
Google News - over 5 years
Veteran coach Jack Johnson believes the Rustlers are ready to play, but he and his staff have a bundle of questions to answer about a young and inexperienced team. "We'll rotate a lot of players, look at a lot of kids. We're still undecided in a lot of
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Jack Johnson Donates $30000 To Africa Famine Relief - Post Chronicle
Google News - over 5 years
by Staff Jack Johnson has donated $30000 (£18750) to help feed Africans caught up in the current famine crisis. The singer/songwriter has pledged $10000 (£6250) to Unicef, Save the Children, and the World Food Programme, who are all working
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Rep. Schrader tours canyon sites - Statesman Journal
Google News - over 5 years
Kurt Schrader (left) listens to Jack Johnson explain Santiam Memorial Hospital's expansion project Tuesday during a tour in Stayton. / Denise Ruttan / Statesman Journal From touring construction progress at Santiam Memorial Hospital's expansion project
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Zee Avi Turns Her 'Calling' Into International Success -- Exclusive Video - Spinner
Google News - over 5 years
Newly signed to Jack Johnson's Brushfire records, Avi stopped by Spinner's New York office to tell us about her latest project, 'Ghostbird,' (out Aug. 30) and how she went from YouTube hopeful to international success. "I studied fine art in London,
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Farrell Files: Rays activism a throwback - WTSP 10 News
Google News - over 5 years
Jack Johnson broke the color barrier in boxing in 1908 - becoming the sport's first Heavyweight Champion. In 1947 Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in major league baseball. In 1973 women's tennis star Billie Jean King proved women could play
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Jack Johnson Sentencing Delayed - Washington Informer
Google News - over 5 years
Sentencing for former Prince George's County executive Jack Johnson has been moved from Sept. 15 to Dec. 6. No reason has been reportedly given for the delay. Johnson, 62, of Mitchellville, Md., pleaded guilty in May to a string of charges in a
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Jack Johnson's sentencing for corruption offenses moved to Dec. 6 - Washington Post (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
The investigation is continuing, Maryland US Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein has said. Jack Johnson's defense attorney, Billy Martin, did not immediately return a phone call. By Ruben Castaneda | 03:06 PM ET, 08/04/2011
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Electing a replacement for Leslie Johnson on the council - Gazette.net Montgomery County Sports
Google News - over 5 years
And given Jack Johnson's many public missteps while in office he was criticized for giving government contracts to friends, bypassing the process for community grant donations, and concealing information regarding an overseas trip and the costs
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Leslie Johnson attends meeting on PG zoning - Washington Times
Google News - over 5 years
Prince George's County Councilwoman Leslie Johnson, 59, wife of former Prince George's County Executive Jack Johnson, stops to make a brief statement to reporters as she makes her exit after entering her plea of guilty to the charge of conspiring to
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OPINION; Redemption in Birmingham
NYTimes - over 5 years
CHRIS McNAIR, symbol of the civil rights struggle in Birmingham, Ala., reported to federal prison last month, bereft of the media respect that has been his companion for most of his 85 years. In 1963, Mr. McNair's 11-year-old daughter, Denise, died along with three other black Sunday school girls in the Ku Klux Klan bombing of the 16th Street
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Jack Johnson carving will stay, if proposal OK'd - Daily News - Galveston County
Google News - over 5 years
GALVESTON — A carving of famed boxer Jack Johnson will not be moved from its place in The Oaks neighborhood if the homeowners association accepts a proposal from the Galveston Redevelopment and Community Enterprise
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Leslie Johnson to resign from council seat - Baltimore Sun (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
Jack Johnson pleaded guilty in May to witness and evidence tampering charges, and to involvement in an extortion conspiracy relating to his official duties as county executive. His sentencing is scheduled for September. The investigation of Jack ... - -
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Johnson to stay on PG Council after guilty plea - Washington Examiner
Google News - over 5 years
Johnson, D-Mitchellville, was arrested with her husband, then- County Executive Jack Johnson, in November in an ongoing FBI investigation of pay-to-play schemes in Prince George's County. She admitted to refusing to answer the door to her Mitchellville ... - -
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90 years ago, boxer Johnson sought his own pardon - The Associated Press
Google News - over 5 years
WASHINGTON (AP) — Congressional backers of a pardon for Jack Johnson, the world's first black heavyweight champion who was imprisoned nearly a century ago for his romantic relationships with white women, say his prosecution was racially motivated
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Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Jack Johnson
    LATE_ADULTHOOD
  • 1946
    Age 67
    On 10 June 1946, Johnson died in a car crash on U.S. Highway 1 near Franklinton, North Carolina a small town near Raleigh, after racing angrily from a diner that refused to serve him.
    More Details Hide Details He was taken to the closest black hospital, Saint Agnes Hospital in Raleigh. He was 68 years old at the time of his death. He was buried next to Etta Duryea Johnson at Graceland Cemetery in Chicago. His grave was initially unmarked, but a stone that bears only the name "Johnson" now stands above the plots of Jack, Etta, and Irene Pineau. Johnson was inducted into the Boxing Hall of Fame in 1954, and is on the roster of both the International Boxing Hall of Fame and the World Boxing Hall of Fame. In 2005, the United States National Film Preservation Board deemed the film of the 1910 Johnson-Jeffries fight "historically significant" and put it in the National Film Registry. During his boxing career, Jack Johnson fought 114 fights, winning 80 matches, 45 by knockouts. Johnson's skill as a fighter and the money that it brought made it impossible for him to be ignored by the establishment. In the short term, the boxing world reacted against Johnson's legacy. But Johnson foreshadowed one of the most famous boxers of all time, Muhammad Ali. In fact, Ali often spoke of how he was influenced by Jack Johnson. Ali identified with Johnson because he felt America ostracized him in the same manner because of his opposition to the Vietnam War and affiliation with the Nation of Islam.
  • 1945
    Age 66
    Johnson made his final ring appearance at age 67 on November 27, 1945, fighting three one-minute exhibition rounds against two opponents, Joe Jeanette and John Ballcort, in a benefit fight card for U.S. War Bonds.
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  • FIFTIES
  • 1938
    Age 59
    Johnson continued fighting, but age was catching up with him. He fought professionally until 1938 at age 60 when he lost 7 of his last 9 bouts, losing his final fight to Walter Price by a 7th-round TKO.
    More Details Hide Details It is often suggested that any bouts after the age of 40—which was a very venerable age for boxing in those days—not be counted on his actual record, since he was basically performing in order to make a living. He also indulged in what was known as "cellar" fighting, where the bouts, unadvertised, were fought for private audiences, usually in cellars, or other unrecognized places. There are photographs existing of one of these fights.
  • FORTIES
  • 1921
    Age 42
    He was released on 9 July 1921.
    More Details Hide Details There have been recurring proposals to grant Johnson a posthumous presidential pardon. A bill requesting President George W. Bush to pardon Johnson in 2008, passed the House, but failed to pass in the Senate. In April 2009, Senator John McCain, along with Representative Peter King, film maker Ken Burns and Johnson's great-niece, Linda Haywood, requested a presidential pardon for Johnson from President Barack Obama. On July 29, 2009, Congress passed a resolution calling on President Obama to issue a pardon. Again, on 30 June 2016, another petition for Johnson's pardon was issued by McCain, King, Senator Harry Reid and Congressman Gregory Meeks to President Obama, marking the 70th anniversary since the boxer's death. This time citing a provision of the Every Student Succeeds Act, signed by the president in December 2015, in which Congress expressed that this boxing great should receive a posthumous pardon, and a vote by the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights passed unanimously a week earlier in June 2016 to "right this century-old wrong."
  • 1920
    Age 41
    He surrendered to federal agents at the Mexican border and was sent to the United States Penitentiary, Leavenworth to serve his sentence September 1920 as Inmate #15461.
    More Details Hide Details While incarcerated, Johnson found need for a tool that would help tighten loosened fastening devices, and modified a wrench for the task. He patented his improvements on April 18, 1922, as US Patent 1,413,121.
    Johnson returned to the U.S. on 20 July 1920.
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  • THIRTIES
  • 1913
    Age 34
    Mike Tyson, Harry Reid and John McCain have all lent their support to the campaign, starting a Change.org petition asking President Obama to posthumously pardon the world’s first African-American boxing champion of his racially motivated 1913 felony conviction.
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    In the courtroom of Kenesaw Mountain Landis, the future Commissioner of Baseball who perpetuated the baseball color line until his death, Johnson was convicted by an all-white jury in June 1913, despite the fact that the incidents used to convict him took place before passage of the Mann Act.
    More Details Hide Details He was sentenced to a year and a day in prison. Johnson skipped bail and left the country, joining Lucille in Montreal on June 25, before fleeing to France. In order to flee to Canada to skip his bail, Johnson posed as a member of a black baseball team. For the next seven years, they lived in exile in Europe, South America and Mexico.
  • 1912
    Age 33
    Less than three months later, on December 4, 1912, Johnson married Lucille Cameron. After Johnson married Cameron, two ministers in the South recommended that Johnson be lynched. Cameron divorced him in 1924 because of infidelity.
    More Details Hide Details The next year, Johnson married Irene Pineau. When asked by a reporter at Johnson's funeral what she had loved about him, she replied, "I loved him because of his courage. He faced the world unafraid. There wasn't anybody or anything he feared." Johnson had no children.
    On October 18, 1912, Johnson was arrested on the grounds that his relationship with Lucille Cameron violated the Mann Act against "transporting women across state lines for immoral purposes" due to her being an alleged prostitute and due to Johnson being black.
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    The controversy surrounding the film directly motivated Congress to ban distribution of all prizefight films across state lines in 1912; the ban was lifted in 1940.
    More Details Hide Details In 2005, the film of the Jeffries-Johnson "Fight of the Century" was entered into the United States National Film Registry as being worthy of preservation. The six fights for which the major films were made, starring Johnson, were: The color bar remained in force even under Johnson. Once he was the world's heavyweight champ, Johnson did not fight a black opponent for the first five years of his reign. He denied matches to black heavyweights Joe Jeanette (one of his successors as colored heavyweight champ), Sam Langford (who beat Jeanette for the colored title), and the young Harry Wills, who was colored heavyweight champ during the last year of Johnson's reign as world's heavyweight champ.
    Johnson was faced with much controversy when he was charged with violating the Mann Act in 1912, even though there was an obvious lack of evidence and the charge was largely racially based.
    More Details Hide Details In a documentary about his life, Ken Burns notes that "for more than thirteen years, Jack Johnson was the most famous and the most notorious African-American on Earth". Johnson was born the third child of nine, and the first son, of Henry and Tina "Tiny" Johnson, two former slaves who worked blue collar jobs as a janitor and a dishwasher to support their children and put them through school. His father Henry served as a civilian teamster of the Union’s 38th Colored Infantry, and was a role model for his son. As Jack once said, his father was "The most perfect physical specimen that he had ever seen," although his father was only and left with an atrophied right leg from his service in the war. Growing up in Galveston, Texas, Johnson attended five years of school and was known as a bright, talkative, and energetic kid. Like all of his siblings, Jack was expected to work to keep the family going while he was growing up. He helped sweep classrooms to ease the work for his father, and he worked for the local milk man before school, taking care of the horses while the milk man got off to make deliveries. For this work he was paid 10 cents and a red pair of socks, which his boss had a seemingly endless supply of, every Saturday.
  • 1911
    Age 32
    In January 1911, Johnson married Etta Terry Duryea. A Brooklyn socialite and former wife of Clarence Duryea, she met Johnson at a car race in 1909. Their romantic involvement was very turbulent. Suffering from severe depression, she committed suicide in September 1912, shooting herself with a revolver.
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    In 1911 Johnson, via an acquaintance, attempted to become a Free Mason in Dundee.
    More Details Hide Details Although he was admitted as a member of the Forfar and Kincardine Lodge No 225 in the city, there was considerable opposition to his membership, principally on the grounds of his race, and the Forfarshire Lodge was suspended by the Grand Lodge of Scotland. Johnson's fees were returned to him and his admission was ruled illegal. The archives of the resulting legal battle are held at the University of Dundee. Jack Johnson wrote two memoirs of his life Mes combats in 1914 and Jack Johnson in the Ring and Out in 1927. Little is written about his religious affiliations, though in 1943, Johnson attended at least one service at the Angelus Temple in Los Angeles, California. In a public conversion, while Detroit, Michigan, burned in race riots, he professed his faith to Christ in a service conducted by famous evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson. She embraced him as "he raised his hand in worship."
  • 1910
    Age 31
    Instead, Johnson chose Battling Jim Johnson, a lesser boxer who, in 1910, had lost to Langford and had a draw and loss via KO to Sam McVey, the former colored champ.
    More Details Hide Details Battling Jim fought former colored champ Joe Jeanette four times between 19 July 1912 and 21 January 1913 and lost all four fights. The only fighter of note he did beat in that period was future colored champ Big Bill Tate, whom he KO-ed in the second round of a scheduled 10-round bout. It was Tate's third pro fight. In November 1913, the International Boxing Union had declared the world heavyweight title held by Jack Johnson to be vacant. The fight, scheduled for 10 rounds, was held on 19 December 1913 in Paris. It was the first time in history that two blacks had fought for the world heavyweight championship. While the Johnson v. Johnson fight had been billed as a world heavyweight title match, in many ways, it resembled an exhibition. A sportswriter from the Indianapolis Star at the fight reported that the crowd became unruly when it was apparent that neither boxer was putting up a fight.
    In 1910, former undefeated heavyweight champion James J. Jeffries came out of retirement to challenge Johnson.
    More Details Hide Details He had not fought in six years and had to lose well over 100 pounds to get back to his championship fighting weight. Initially Jeffries had no interest in the fight, being quite happy as an alfalfa farmer. But those who wanted to see Johnson defeated badgered Jeffries mercilessly for months, and offered him an unheard sum of money, reputed to be about $120,000 (equivalent to $ million in) to which he finally acquiesced. Jeffries remained mostly hidden from media attention until the day of the fight, meanwhile Johnson was soaking up the spotlight. John L. Sullivan, who made boxing championships a popular and esteemed spectacle, stated that Johnson was in such good physical shape compared to Jeffries that he could only lose if he had a lack of skill on the day. Before the fight, Jeffries remarked, "It is my intention to go right after my opponent and knock him out as soon as possible." While his wife added, "I'm not interested in prizefighting but I am interested in my husband's welfare, I do hope this will be his last fight." Johnson's words were "May the best man win."
  • 1909
    Age 30
    This time, the woman, another alleged prostitute named Belle Schreiber, with whom he had been involved in 1909 and 1910, testified against him.
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    In 1909, he beat Tony Ross, Al Kaufman, and the middleweight champion Stanley Ketchel.
    More Details Hide Details The match with Ketchel was originally thought to have been an exhibition, and in fact it was fought by both men that way, until the 12th round, when Ketchel threw a right to Johnson's head, knocking him down. Quickly regaining his feet, and very annoyed, Johnson immediately dashed straight at Ketchell and threw a single punch, an uppercut, a punch for which he was famous, to Ketchel's jaw, knocking him out. The punch knocked out Ketchell's front teeth; Johnson can be seen on videotape removing them from his glove, where they had been embedded. Johnson's fight 4 months earlier with Philadelphia Jack O'Brien had been a disappointing one for Johnson: though weighing to O'Brien's, he could only achieve a six-round draw with the great middleweight.
  • TWENTIES
  • 1908
    Age 29
    Johnson finally won the world heavyweight title on December 26, 1908, a full six years after lightweight champion Joe Gans became the first African American boxing champion.
    More Details Hide Details Johnson's victory over the reigning world champion, Canadian Tommy Burns, in Sydney, Australia, came after stalking Burns around the world for two years and taunting him in the press for a match. It is believed that Burns had only agreed to fight Johnson after promotors guaranteed him $30,000. The fight lasted fourteen rounds before being stopped by the police in front of over 20,000 spectators. The title was awarded to Johnson on a referee's decision. After Johnson's victory over Burns, racial animosity among whites ran so deep that it was called out for a "Great White Hope" to take the title away from Johnson. While Johnson was heavyweight champion, he was covered more in the press than all other notable black men combined. The lead-up to the bout was peppered with racist press against Johnson. Even the New York Times wrote of the event, "If the black man wins, thousands and thousands of his ignorant brothers will misinterpret his victory as justifying claims to much more than mere physical equality with their white neighbors." As title holder, Johnson thus had to face a series of fighters each billed by boxing promoters as a "great white hope," often in exhibition matches.
    After Johnson became the first African-American Heavyweight Champion of the World on December 26, 1908, his World Colored Heavyweight Championship was vacated.
    More Details Hide Details Jeanette fought Sam McVey for the title in Paris on 20 February 1909 and was beaten, but later took the title from McVey in a 49-round bout on April 17 of that year in Paris for a $6,000 purse. Sam Langford subsequently claimed the title during Jeanette's reign after Johnson refused to defend the World Heavyweight Championship against him. Eighteen months later, Jeanette lost the title to Langford. During his reign as world champ, Johnson never again fought Jeanette despite numerous challenges and avoided Langford, who won the colored title a record five times. Johnson had fought Langford once while he was the colored champ and beaten him on points in a 15-rounder. On 27 November 1945, Johnson finally stepped back into the ring with Joe Jeanette. The 67-year-old Johnson squared off against the 66-year-old Jeanette in an exhibition held at a New York City rally to sell war bonds. Fellow former colored heavyweight champ Harry Wills also participated in the exhibition.
  • 1907
    Age 28
    However, Johnson did fight former champion Bob Fitzsimmons in July 1907, and knocked him out in two rounds.
    More Details Hide Details There is a report that Johnson even fought and KO'd Jim Jeffries' brother Jack, and taunted him about it to force a fight, with no success.
  • 1905
    Age 26
    In their first match on 1905, they had fought to a draw, but in their second match on 25 November 1905, Johnson lost as he was disqualified in the second round of a scheduled six-round fight.
    More Details Hide Details Johnson continued to claim the title because of the disqualification.
  • 1903
    Age 24
    Johnson won his first title on February 3, 1903, beating Denver Ed Martin on points in a 20-round match for the World Colored Heavyweight Championship.
    More Details Hide Details Johnson held the title until it was vacated when he won the world heavyweight title from Tommy Burns in Sydney, Australia on Boxing Day 1908. His reign of 2,151 days was the third longest in the 60-year-long history of the colored heavyweight title. Only Harry Wills at 3,103 days and Peter Jackson at 3,041 days held the title longer. A three-time colored heavyweight champion, Wills held the title for a total of 3,351 days. Johnson defended the colored heavyweight title 17 times, which was second only to the 26 times Wills defended the title. While colored champ, he defeated ex-colored champs Denver Ed Martin and Frank Childs again and beat future colored heavyweight champs Sam McVey three times and Sam Langford once. He beat Langford on points in a 15-rounder and never gave him another shot at the title, either when he was colored champ or the world heavyweight champ.
    By 1903, though Johnson's "official" record showed him with nine wins against three losses, five draws and two no contests, he had won at least 50 fights against both white and black opponents.
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  • 1902
    Age 23
    Johnson beat former black heavyweight champ Frank Childs on October 21, 1902.
    More Details Hide Details Childs had twice won the black heavyweight title and continued to claim himself the true black champ despite having lost his title in a bout with George Byers and then, after retaking the title from Byers, losing it again to Denver Ed Martin. He still made pretence to being the black champ and claimed the unrecognized black heavyweight title as well. Johnson won by a TKO in the 12th round of the scheduled 20-rounder, when Childs' seconds signaled he couldn't go on. (He claimed he had dislocated his elbow.) The defeat by Johnson forever ended his pretensions to the black heavyweight crown.
  • 1901
    Age 22
    On February 25, 1901, Johnson fought Joe Choynski in Galveston.
    More Details Hide Details Choynski, a popular and experienced heavyweight, knocked out Johnson in the third round. Prizefighting was illegal in Texas at the time and they were both arrested. Bail was set at $5,000 which neither could afford. The sheriff permitted both fighters to go home at night so long as they agreed to spar in the jail cell. Large crowds gathered to watch the sessions. After 23 days in jail, their bail was reduced to an affordable level and a grand jury refused to indict either man. However, Johnson later stated that he learned his boxing skills during that jail time. The two would remain friends. Johnson attests that his success in boxing came from the coaching he received from Choynski. The aging Choynski saw natural talent and determination in Johnson and taught him the nuances of defense, stating "A man who can move like you should never have to take a punch".
  • 1899
    Age 20
    In his third pro fight on May 8, 1899, he battled "Klondike" (John W. Haynes or Haines), an African American heavyweight known as "The Black Hercules", in Chicago.
    More Details Hide Details Klondike (so called as he was considered a rarity, like the gold in the Klondike), who had declared himself the "Black Heavyweight Champ", won on a technical knockout (TKO) in the fifth round of a scheduled six-rounder. The two fighters met again in 1900, with the first contest resulting in a draw as both fighters were on their feet at the end of 20 rounds. Johnson won the second fight by a TKO when Klondike refused to come out for the 14th round. Johnson did not claim Klondike's unrecognized title.
  • TEENAGE
  • 1898
    Age 19
    Johnson made his debut as a professional boxer on November 1, 1898, in Galveston, Texas, when he knocked out Charley Brooks in the second round of a 15-round bout for what was billed as "The Texas State Middleweight Title".
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  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1878
    Born
    Born on March 31, 1878.
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