Joe Louis

The Life of a Heavyweight

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About the Book

Joe Louis held the heavyweight boxing championship longer than any other fighter and defended it a record 25 times. (In the 1930s and 1940s, the owner of the heavyweight title was the most prominent non-team sports competitor.) In addition, Louis helped bridge the gap of understanding between whites and blacks. During World War II he not only raised money for Army and Navy relief and entertained millions of troops as a morale officer, but became a symbol of American hope and strength.
This biography of Louis outlines his rise from poverty in Alabama to become the best-known African American of his time and describes how an uneducated man, simple at his core, became so articulate and ended up on the side of right in the battles he fought, with fist or voice.

About the Author(s)

Lew Freedman is a long-time, prize-winning journalist for such newspapers as the Philadelphia Inquirer, Chicago Tribune and Anchorage Daily News. The author of numerous baseball books, he lives in Columbus, Indiana.

Bibliographic Details

Lew Freedman
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 252
Bibliographic Info: 11 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2013
pISBN: 978-0-7864-5907-0
eISBN: 978-1-4766-0212-7
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Introduction  1

 1. The Brain Trust  5

 2. Alabama  13

 3. Detroit  22

 4. Joe Who?  29

 5. Laying Out the Big Plan  36

 6. Jack Johnson  42

 7. Going Pro  50

 8. The Brown Bomber  57

 9. The Brown Bomber Versus the Italian Man Mountain  67

10. Showdown with “Killer” Baer  78

11. An Eye for the Ladies  86

12. Working His Way to the Top  96

13. Max Schmeling  103

14. Schmeling, Hitler and the Nazis  111

15. Louis-Schmeling I  117

16. Joe Bounces Back  127

17. And the New Heavyweight Champion of the World  135

18. Being the Champ  143

19. Louis­Schmeling II  150

20. Bigger Than Ever  160

21. Two-Ton Tony and Tons of Others  168

22. The Tough Guy from Pittsburgh  178

23. You’re in the Army Now  187

24. A Young Man Named Robinson  197

25. After the War  203

26. End Days of a Brilliant Career  211

27. Real Life Tougher Than Boxing  219

Chapter Notes  231

Bibliography  237

Index  239

Book Reviews & Awards

“retells the story in an efficient fashion…a solid overview of Louis’s life…the power of Louis’s life is undeniable. Recommended”—Choice.