Thursday, June 10, 2021

Jack Johnson Killed in Auto Crash, 75 Years -- June 10, 2021


Dayton Daily Bulletin, 10-June-1921

Jack Johnson was one of the greatest heavyweight champions. Racists hated that he was African-American, and that he regularly defeated white boxers. Some people believe that the fight where he lost the title in 1915 might have been fixed.

I was tweeting with a friend recently and we decided that Jack Johnson vs George Foreman would have been a heck of a fight.

75 years ago today, on 10-June-1946, Jack Johnson died in an automobile accident.

The Dayton Daily Bulletin was an African-American owned newspaper.


RALEIGH, N. C., June 11.— Jack Johnson, the first Negro ever to become heavyweight boxing champion of the world, died at St. Agnes hospital here today following an automobile accident early this afternoon near Franklinton.

Dr. W. D. Allison said that Johnson, who was 68 years old, died of internal injuries and shock.

Fred L. Scott, a Negro companion said he was accompanying the former champion to New York from Texas, where Johnson recently had concluded a personal appearance tour.

As the heavy automobile approached the city limits of Franklinton, about 20 miles north of Raleigh on highway U. S. No. 1, Scott said Johnson apparently lost control of the car on a curve. The car went off the road and crashed into a telephone pole, hitting on the left side where Johnson was sitting.

Johnson won the heavyweight championship in 1908 at Sidney, Australia, when he scored a technical knockout over Tommy Burns of Canada in the fourteenth round. The Galveston, Tex., native who was christened John Arthur Johnson, thus become the first Negro heavyweight champion in history.

After holding the title for seven years, during which he defended his crown against many challengers including former champion Jim Jeffries, Johnson was defeated by Jess Willard in Havana, April 15, 1915.

Tacoma Times, 04-July-1912

Jack Johnson fought Fireman Jim Flynn for the second time on 04-July-1912 in Las Vegas, New Mexico, earning a TKO in the 9th. Fireman Jim's later claim to fame is that he was the only boxer who ever knocked out Jack Dempsey.

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