Joe "The Brown Bomber" Louis: Hero of the People. His American Story.

Article by Rick Mohamed

Joe Louis: one of the greatest heavyweight champions, an inspiration to an entire people & an American patriot who personally supported the WWII war effort by enlisting in the Army during the height of his career. 

He had the longest-ever reign as heavyweight champion: 11 years. While some of that time was spent in the US Army during the war, he returned and defended his title many times. 

He has a record 25 successful title defenses, and only lost 3 fights: as a young contender, to Germany’s Max Schmeling (which he avenged years later, embarrassing Adolf Hitler & Nazi Germany), as an older, aging retired former champion to Ezzard Charles, who won by decision, and to Rocky Marciano in his final fight. 

The IRS dogged him financially for tax problems throughout his post-war career, at times seizing his purse at fights from the box office. He eventually made a deal, but struggled financially, eventually becoming a greeter at Las Vegas casinos. 

A little known story: during WWII, a young black soldier wrote him asking for help. He was denied admittance into Officers Candidate School, though he was highly qualified for it. 

Louis called a friend who got the soldier & others into the OCS. Later in 1944, that same soldier, now a lieutenant, asked his friend Joe Louis for help with his court martial due to an unjust racial incident. 

Louis did, and the lieutenant was found not guilty. He later on made history soon after: his name was Jackie Robinson. 

True story. 

President Jimmy Carter told this story: when he was growing up in Georgia in the Jim Crow South, some black men asked Carter’s father if they could listen to Joe Louis vs Max Schmeling’s 2nd fight on the radio. 

Louis was a huge hero, an inspiration to the black community. Listening to his fights were must-hear radio. 

They calmly listened to the fight, and when it was over, went home to their side of town. Once they got there, the celebration broke loose! 

Legendary singer Frank Sinatra helped pay for a broke Joe Louis’ bills by signing over his Seagram’s endorsement checks to Joe-not out of pity, but of gratitude. He had Louis flown in his private jet to receive heart surgery by a renowned surgeon. 

He also paid for his funeral along with former Louis foe Max Schmeling, who became a good friend. It’s been said that Sinatra spoke with President Ronald Reagan to waive the requirements and have Louis buried in Arlington National Cemetary.





About the Author

Brawlers Sports Media is a media company that built their level of reporting boxing news to all the boxing fans out there from ground zero. CEO Rick Mohamed vows to deliver top quality content and one on one interviews as well as articles for the boxing communities’ entertainment.

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