Joe Lewis

Born Mar 7, 1944

Joe Lewis is an American kickboxer, point karate fighter, and actor. As a fighter, Lewis gained fame for his matches in the 1960s and 1970s. He has twice been voted the greatest fighter in karate history, and has attained the titles of "United States Heavyweight Kickboxing Champion," "World Heavyweight Karate Champion," and "United States National Black Belt Kata Champion."… Read More

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Learn about the memorable moments in the evolution of Joe Lewis.


1944 Birth Joseph Henry Lewis was born on March 7, 1944, in Knightdale, North Carolina.


1962 18 Years Old He joined the United States Marine Corps on March 13, 1962 and was stationed at Cherry Point in Havelock, North Carolina from July 20, 1962 to April 12, 1964. … Read More


From February 7 to July 14, 1966, he was stationed at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, NC, at which time he was released from Active Duty. … Read More
1967 23 Years Old 1 More Event
At the 1967 Nationals in Washington, Lewis won the championship by defeating Mitchell Bobrow in the semi final and beating Frank Hargrove 3-2 in the finals. … Read More
In February, 1968, Lewis and five other top rated fighters (Bob Wall, Skipper Mullins, J. Pat Burleson, David Moon, and Fred Wren) fought in the 1st World Professional Karate Championships (WPKC) promoted by Jim Harrison. … Read More
1969 25 Years Old In late 1969 promoter Lee Faulkner contacted Joe Lewis to fight in his upcoming United States Karate Championships. … Read More
In 1970, Lewis lost in yet another upset to John Natividad at the All-Star Team Championships in Long Beach, California. … Read More
1971 27 Years Old 1 More Event
On January 24, 1971, at the 2nd Annual United Nations Open Karate Championships promoted by Aaron Banks, Lewis knocked out Ronnie Barkoot at 1:25 of the first round. … Read More
1972 28 Years Old At Ed Parker's 1972 'International Karate Championships', Darnell Garcia scored an upset victory over Lewis. … Read More


1974 30 Years Old 1 More Event
In 1974 he beat his only opponent in the new sport of full contact karate with a 2nd round ridge hand knockout over Yugoslavia's Frank Brodar in Los Angeles, California to win the Professional Karate Association (PKA) Heavyweight full-contact karate title.
1975 31 Years Old 1 More Event
In 1975 Joe Lewis was inducted into the Black Belt magazine Hall of Fame as the 1974 full contact karate "fighter of the year".
1978 34 Years Old Lewis continued with his acting career and starred in Jaguar Lives in 1978 and Force: Five in 1981.
1983 39 Years Old At the age of 39, in 1983, Joe Lewis launched a comeback which saw him earn a top-10 PKA world ranking. … Read More


1990 46 Years Old In 1990 Lewis (198 lbs) fought one last exhibition kickboxing/karate match with friend Bill Wallace (166 lbs) on pay per view. … Read More


2011 67 Years Old In July 2011, he was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. … Read More
2012 68 Years Old Lewis died one year and forty-five days later, on the morning of August 31, 2012 at Coatesville Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Coatesville, Pennsylvania.
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