Leo Houck

A Biography of Boxing’s Uncrowned Middleweight Champion


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About the Book

While many of his peers began their careers as farmers and factory workers, Leo Florian Houck became a boxing sensation at age 14, enabling him to support his mother and six siblings after his father’s death. Houck’s career really took off in 1911 with a 20–round victory over world-class welterweight Harry Lewis in Paris. During 1913 Leo became the leading middleweight contender in America.
This biography details Houck’s early years in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, his long career in the ring—including 200 fights—and his 27 years as Penn State’s legendary boxing coach.

About the Author(s)

Randy L. Swope writes biographies of eminent and honorable Pennsylvanians who have “set the bar” in their chosen professions and personal lives. He lives in Mt. Gretna, Pennsylvania.

Bibliographic Details

Randy L. Swope
Foreword by Edward B. Hauck

Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 198
Bibliographic Info: 14 photos, appendix, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2019
pISBN: 978-1-4766-7534-3
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3463-0
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Foreword by Edward B. Hauck 1
Preface 3
Part I. The Early Years
1. Growing Up in ­Cabbage-Hill 5
2. Turning Professional at Fourteen 11
Part II. The Boxing Years
3. Winning at Home, 1905–1906–1907 19
4. Lightweight Champion of Lancaster County, 1908–1909 23
5. From Lightweight to Middleweight in ­Twenty-Eight Bouts, 1910 30
6. “Vive la Leo,” 1911 48
7. Top of the Heap, 1912–1913 68
8. Baseball, the Blahs and Catchweight Battles, 1914–1915–1916 89
9. Light Heavyweight Sensation, 1917–1918 112
10. Greb and Gibbons Give Leo Fits, 1919 125
11. Grandpa Draws with Tunney, 1920 133
12. Leo and Jack Dempsey, 1921 138
13. “Triunfo en Cuba,” 1922 144
Part III. The Penn State Years
14. Penn State’s First Legendary Coach 151
15. Leo and the Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission 158
Appendix: Leo F. Hauck’s Professional Fight Record 165
Chapter Notes 175
Bibliography 187
Index of Persons 189