History | May 13 2018

On This Day: The brilliant and devastating Joe Louis was born

On May 13 in 1914 the heavyweight great Joe Louis was born in LaFayette. Matt Christie pens an appreciation
Joe Louis
joe louis

SEVENTEEN years separated Joe Louis’ defeat to Max Marek in the 1934 national amateur championships and Rocky Marciano rampaging through the last remnants of “The Brown Bomber”. Between those two ugly bookends, Louis crafted a handsome story that transcended sport and changed the pale face of the world.

Before Joe landed on the coarse heavyweight landscape, only John L. Sullivan – the great bareknuckle king – and Jack Dempsey enjoyed similar popularity to that which Louis would subsequently experience. The fact the colour of his skin didn’t match those previous heroes made his impact all the more sensational in a time of grotesque racial prejudice.

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