Joe Louis, the legendary "Brown bomber: who held the heavyweight boxing title longer than any other man, died in Las Vegas on Sunday (12 April) of a heart attack.
SV Joe Louis pitching baseball & CUs two still photographs Louis. (3 shots) (MONO)
CU Louis hitting punchball. (MONO)
SV Louis in ring with sparring partner. (3 shots)
SCU Challenger Godoy training and in ring with sparring partner. (4 shots) (MONO)
Background: Joe Louis, the legendary "Brown bomber: who held the heavyweight boxing title longer than any other man, died in Las Vegas on Sunday (12 April) of a heart attack. He was 66. He ruled for 11 years and eight months and defended his crown record 25 times losing only three fights in a career lasting from 1934 to 1951. A devastating puncher he recorded 54 knock-outs and totalled 68 wins in 71 fights including knockouts of eight men who held world titles. Experts considered him to be the greatest of all champions. Jou Louis Barrow, the eight son of a cotton picker, was born in a cabin near Lexington, Alabama. Ho won the world title at the age of 23 in 1937 when he knocked out James J. Braddock in the eight. He lost it ti Ezzard Charles in 1950 over 15 rounds. The final blow fell in 1951 when he was knocked out by the up and coming Rockt Marciano in eight rounds. One of his many challengers along the way was Arturo Godoy from Chile. He went the way of all the others. Louis beat him over 15 rounds in February 1940 and knocked him out in the re-match four months later in the eighth. Newsreel reporter Bob Danvers Walker watched the Brown Bomber and Godoy in training..
Joe Louis was held in universal esteem throughout the world. More than a thousand well-wishers attended a testimonial dinner for the Brown Bomber in Las Vegas. The occasion was his fifty-seventh birthday in 1971. It was a glittering occasion which testified to former champion's popularity.
Among the guests was Louis's arch heavyweight foe Max Schmeling who flew in from Hamburg for the occasion.
Other boxers there included Sugar Ray Robinson. Actor Gregory Peck read a message from President Nixon who called Louis one of boxing's greatest champions and finest gentlemen whose fights would be remembered with pride.
Louis professional record was second to none. Outside the ring his good nature and courtesy made him the most respected of all modern champions as well as the greatest.