Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Jack Dempsey 125 -- June 24, 2020
William Harrison Dempsey was born in Colorado 125 years ago today, on 24-June-1895. Around 1914 he took the name Jack Dempsey, inspired by great Nineteenth Century middleweight champ Nonpariel Jack Dempsey:

During World War One, he worked in a San Francisco Bay Area shipyard and fought in the four round fights that were then legal in California. He was accused of avoiding military service, but people later found evidence that he had tried to enlist in the army, but had been classified as 4-F.

On 04-July1919, Dempsey defeated Jess Willard, the Pottawatamie Giant, and won the heavyweight championship:

Moving Picture World, 23-August-1919

Film Daily, 06-October-1926
Dempsey led a wild life during the 1920s and defended his title several times, finally losing it to Gene Tunney in 1926.

Dempsey ran popular in restaurants in New York City for the rest of his life. During World War Two, he taught physical fitness in the Coast Guard.

I remember well when he was still alive. He died in 1983.

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