83 Facts About Joe Louis


Joseph Louis Barrow was an American professional boxer who competed from 1934 to 1951.


Joe Louis reigned as the world heavyweight champion from 1937 until his temporary retirement in 1949.


Joe Louis was victorious in 25 consecutive title defenses, a record for all weight classes.


Joe Louis had the longest single reign as champion of any boxer in history.


Joe Louis is widely regarded as the first person of African-American descent to achieve the status of a nationwide hero within the United States, and was a focal point of anti-Nazi sentiment leading up to and during World War II because of his historic rematch with German boxer Max Schmeling in 1938.


Joe Louis was instrumental in integrating the game of golf, helping break the sport's color barrier in America by appearing under a sponsor's exemption in a PGA event in 1952.


Joe Louis suffered from a speech impediment and spoke very little until about the age of six.


Munroe Barrow was committed to a mental institution in 1916 and, as a result, Joe Louis knew very little of his biological father.


Around 1920, Joe Louis's mother married Pat Brooks, a local construction contractor, having received word that Munroe Barrow had died while institutionalized.


Joe Louis's brother worked for Ford Motor Company and the family settled into a home at 2700 Catherine Street in Detroit's Black Bottom neighborhood.


Joe Louis attended Bronson Vocational School for a time to learn cabinet-making.


The Great Depression severely affected the Barrow family, but Joe Louis still made time to work out at a local youth recreation center at 637 Brewster Street in Detroit.


Joe Louis's mother attempted to get him interested in playing the violin.


Joe Louis made his debut in early 1932 at the age of 17.


Joe Louis later lost in the Chicago Golden Gloves Tournament of Champions.


Joe Louis had only three losses in his 69 professional fights.


Joe Louis tallied 52 knockouts and held the championship from 1937 to 1949, the longest span of any heavyweight titleholder.


Roxborough knew a Chicago area boxing promoter named Julian Black who already had a stable of mediocre boxers against which Joe Louis could hone his craft, this time in the heavyweight division.


Joe Louis earned $59 for knocking out Kracken in the first round.


Joe Louis won all 12 of his professional fights that year, 10 by knockout.


Likewise, biographer Bill Libby asserted that "The sports world was hungry for a great champion when Joe Louis arrived in New York in 1935".


In September 1935, on the eve of Joe Louis's fight with former titleholder Max Baer, Washington Post sportswriter Shirley Povich wrote about some Americans' hopes for the white contender, "They say Baer will surpass himself in the knowledge that he is the lone white hope for the defense of Nordic superiority in the prize ring".


Unknowingly, Baer suffered from a unique disadvantage in the fight: earlier that evening, Joe Louis had married Marva Trotter at a friend's apartment and was eager to end the fight in order to consummate the relationship.


Later that year, Joe Louis knocked out Paolino Uzcudun, who had never been knocked down before.


Joe Louis spent significant time on the golf course rather than training for the match.


Joe Louis had thoroughly studied Louis's style and believed he had found a weakness.


Joe Louis did his part by knocking out former champion Jack Sharkey on August 18,1936.


Joe Louis's victory was a seminal moment in African American history.


Joe Louis fought one of the hardest battles of his life.


The bout was closely contested and went the entire 15 rounds, with Joe Louis being unable to knock Farr down.


Nevertheless, after the score was announced, Joe Louis had won a controversial unanimous decision.


In preparation for the inevitable rematch with Schmeling, Joe Louis tuned up with bouts against Nathan Mann and Harry Thomas.


The rematch between Joe Louis and Schmeling would become one of the most famous boxing matches of all time and is remembered as one of the major sports events of the 20th century.


Joe Louis battered Schmeling with a series of swift attacks, forcing him against the ropes and giving him a paralyzing body blow.


Conn would not gain weight for the challenge against Joe Louis, saying instead that he would rely on a "hit and run" strategy.


Conn had the better of the fight through 12 rounds, although Joe Louis was able to stun Conn with a left hook in the fifth, cutting his eye and nose.


Joe Louis made the most of the opportunity, knocking Conn out with two seconds left in the thirteenth round.


The contest created an instant rivalry that Joe Louis's career had lacked since the Schmeling era, and a rematch with Conn was planned for late 1942.


Joe Louis fought a charity bout for the Navy Relief Society against his former opponent Buddy Baer on January 9,1942, which raised $47,000 for the fund.


For basic training, Joe Louis was assigned to a segregated cavalry unit based in Fort Riley, Kansas.


Accordingly, Joe Louis used this personal connection to help the cause of various black soldiers with whom he came into contact.


In one noted episode, Joe Louis contacted Gibson in order to facilitate the Officer Candidate School applications of a group of black recruits at Fort Riley, which had been inexplicably delayed for several months.


Joe Louis went on a celebrity tour with other notables, including fellow boxer Sugar Ray Robinson.


In 1943, Joe Louis made an appearance in the wartime Hollywood musical This Is the Army, directed by Michael Curtiz.


Joe Louis appeared as himself in a musical number, "The Well-Dressed Man in Harlem," which emphasized the importance of African-American soldiers and promoted their enlistment.


The MP tried to arrest them, but Joe Louis forcefully argued the pair out of the situation.


Joe Louis was eventually promoted to the rank of technical sergeant on April 9,1945.


When Joe Louis was declared the winner in a split decision, the crowd booed.


Joe Louis was under no illusion about the state of his boxing skills, yet he was too embarrassed to quit after the Walcott fight.


Joe Louis knew he had lost even before Charles was declared the winner.


The result was not the only disappointing aspect of the fight for Joe Louis; only 22,357 spectators paid to witness the event at Yankee Stadium, and his share of the purse was a mere $100,458.


Joe Louis was going to take a vicious, savage beating.


Joe Louis was dropped in the eighth round by a Marciano left and knocked through the ropes and out of the ring less than thirty seconds later.


Joe Louis was nevertheless extremely generous to his family, paying for homes, cars and education for his parents and siblings, often with money fronted by Jacobs.


Joe Louis gave liberally to the government as well, paying back the city of Detroit for any welfare money his family had received.


Joe Louis's entrusting of his finances to former manager Mike Jacobs haunted him.


In 1953, when Joe Louis's mother died, the IRS appropriated the $667 she had willed to Joe Louis.


Joe Louis appeared on various quiz shows, and an old Army friend, Ash Resnick, gave Louis a job greeting tourists to the Caesars Palace hotel in Las Vegas, where Resnick was an executive.


Joe Louis made his professional wrestling debut on March 16,1956, in Washington, DC at the Uline Arena, defeating Cowboy Rocky Lee.


When Joe Louis fell on hard financial times, Dempsey served as honorary chairman of a fund to assist Joe Louis.


Joe Louis's first recorded match was on August 6,1954, in a victory over Bobby Nelson.


In 1956, Joe Louis went on a short-lived wrestling tour arranged by promoter Ray Fabiani.


Joe Louis returned to the wrestling ring on March 15,1959, where he lost to Buddy Rogers in Columbus, Ohio.


Joe Louis was a long-time devotee of the sport since being introduced to the game before the first Schmeling fight in 1936.


In 1952, Joe Louis was invited to play as an amateur in the San Diego Open on a sponsor's exemption, which was announced at the time as the first instance of an African-American to play in a PGA Tour event.


Joe Louis was instrumental in founding The First Tee, a charity helping underprivileged children become acquainted with the game of golf.


On Christmas Day 1955, Joe Louis married Rose Morgan, a successful Harlem businesswoman; their marriage was annulled in 1958.


Joe and Marva Louis endorsed and campaigned for liberal, anti-segregation Republican candidate Wendell Willkie in the 1940 United States presidential election.


Ronald Reagan waived the eligibility rules for burial at Arlington National Cemetery and Joe Louis was buried there with full military honors on April 21,1981.


Joe Louis's funeral was paid for in part by former competitor and friend, Max Schmeling, who acted as a pallbearer.


Joe Louis appeared in six full-length films and two short films.


Joe Louis had a starring role in the 1938 race film Spirit of Youth, in which he played a boxer with many similarities to himself.


Joe Louis played himself in the short film Johnny At The Fair in 1947.


In 1955 Joe Louis is cast as himself in a small role in The Square Jungle written by George Zuckerman and starring Tony Curtis.


Joe Louis was a guest on the television show You Bet Your Life in 1955.


Joe Louis is widely regarded as one of the greatest boxers of all time.


Joe Louis reigned as the world heavyweight champion from 1937 to 1949, during which he participated in 26 championship fights, defeated 21 fighters, made 25 defenses and was a world champion for 11 years and 10 months.


Joe Louis has won the most world heavyweight title fights in history, at 26.


Joe Louis was named fighter of the year four times by The Ring magazine in 1936,1938,1939, and 1941.


In 2005, Joe Louis was ranked as the best heavyweight of all time by the International Boxing Research Organization, and was ranked number one on The Ring magazine's list of the "100 greatest punchers of all time".


Hank Kaplan, Bert Sugar, Teddy Atlas, George Foreman and Joe Frazier named Louis as the greatest heavyweight boxer of all time.


On February 27,2010, an 8-foot bronze statue of Joe Louis was unveiled in his Alabama hometown.


Joe Louis trained at the site of the Pompton Lakes Elks Club.