William Harrison "Jack" Dempsey (June 24, 1895 – May 31, 1983), nicknamed "Kid Blackie" and "The Manassa Mauler", was an American professional boxer who competed from 1914 to 1927, and reigned as the world heavyweight champion from 1919 to 1926. A cultural icon of the 1920s, Dempsey's aggressive fighting style and exceptional punching power made him one of the most popular boxers in history. Many of his fights set financial and attendance records, including the first million-dollar gate.
Dempsey is ranked tenth on The Ring magazine's list of all-time heavyweights and seventh among its Top 100 Greatest Punchers, while in 1950 the Associated Press voted him as the greatest fighter of the past 50 years. He is a member of the International Boxing Hall of Fame, and was in the previous Boxing Hall of Fame.
|Real name||William Harrison Dempsey|
|Height||6 ft 1 in (185 cm)|
|Reach||77 in (196 cm)|
|Born||June 24, 1895|
Manassa, Colorado, U.S.
|Died||May 31, 1983 (aged 87)|
New York City, New York, U.S.
|Total fights||75 (6 NWS)|
|Wins by KO||44|
Born William Harrison Dempsey in Manassa, Colorado, he grew up in a poor family in Colorado, West Virginia, and Utah.[A] The son of Mary Celia (née Smoot) and Hiram Dempsey, his family's lineage consisted of Irish and Cherokee ancestry. Following his parents' conversion to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Dempsey was baptized into the Church in 1903 following his 8th birthday, the "age of accountability", according to church doctrine. Because his father had difficulty finding work, the family traveled often and Dempsey dropped out of elementary school to work and left home at the age of 16. Due to his lack of money, he frequently traveled underneath trains and slept in hobo camps.
Desperate for money, Dempsey would occasionally visit saloons and challenge for fights, saying "I can't sing and I can't dance, but I can lick any SOB in the house." If anyone accepted the challenge, bets would be made. According to Dempsey's autobiography, he rarely lost these barroom brawls. For a short time, Dempsey was a part-time bodyguard for Thomas F. Kearns, president of The Salt Lake Tribune and son of Utah's U.S. Senator Thomas Kearns.
Dempsey often fought under the pseudonym, "Kid Blackie," although during his stint in the Salt Lake City area, he went by "Young Dempsey". Much of his early career is not recorded, and stated thus, in The Ring Record Book as compiled by Nat Fleischer. He first competed as "Jack Dempsey" (by his own recollection) in the fall of 1914, in Cripple Creek, Colorado. His brother, Bernie, who often fought under the pseudonym, "Jack Dempsey"—this a common practice of the day, in fighters' admiration of middleweight boxer and former champion, Jack "Nonpareil" Dempsey—had signed to fight veteran George Copelin. Upon learning Copelin had sparred with Jack Johnson, and given Bernie Dempsey was nearing 40 years of age, he strategically decided to back out of the fight. He substituted his brother, still unknown in Eastern Colorado, as "Jack Dempsey". The fans at ringside immediately knew this was not the man they'd paid to see.
The promoter became violently angry and "sailed into us, barehanded", threatening to stop the fight. Copelin himself, who outweighed Dempsey by 20 lbs. (165 to 145) upon seeing Dempsey's small stature in the ring, warned the promoter, "I might kill that skinny guy." The promoter reluctantly permitted the fight to commence, and in his first outing as "Jack Dempsey", the future champion downed Copelin six times in the first round and twice in the second. From there, it was a battle of attrition ("Neither Bernie nor I had taken into consideration the high altitude at Cripple Creek."), until a last knockdown of Copelin in the seventh, moved the referee to make the then-unusual move of stopping the fight once Copelin regained his feet. According to Dempsey "In those days they didn't stop mining-town fights as long as one guy could move." This trial by fire carried with it a $100 purse. The promoter, angered at the switch pulled by the brothers, had laid no promised side bets, "...and even if I did, I wouldn't give you anything."
Such lessons were hard, but fighting was something Jack Dempsey did well. Following the name change, Dempsey won six bouts in a row by knockout before losing on a disqualification in four rounds to Jack Downey. During this early part of his career, Dempsey campaigned in Utah, frequently entering fights in towns in the Wasatch Mountain Range region. He followed his loss against Downey with a knockout win and two draws versus Johnny Sudenberg in Nevada. Three more wins and a draw followed when he met Downey again, this time resulting in a four-round draw. Following these wins, Dempsey racked up 10 more wins that included matches against Sudenberg and Downey, knocking out Downey in two rounds. These wins were followed with three no-decision matches, although at this point in the history of boxing, the use of judges to score a fight was often forbidden, so if a fight went the distance, it was called a draw or a no decision, depending on the state or county where the fight was held.
After the United States entered World War I in 1917, Dempsey worked in a shipyard and continued to box. Afterward, he was accused by some boxing fans of being a slacker for not enlisting. This remained a black mark on his reputation until 1920, when evidence produced showed he had attempted to enlist in the U.S. Army, but had been classified 4-F.[B] After the war, Dempsey spent two years in Salt Lake City, "bumming around" as he called it, before returning to the ring.
Among his opponents as a rising contender were Fireman Jim Flynn, the only boxer ever to beat Dempsey by a knockout when Dempsey lost to him in the first round (although some boxing historians believe the fight was a "fix"), and Gunboat Smith, formerly a highly-ranked contender who had beaten both World Champion Jess Willard and Hall of Famer Sam Langford. Dempsey beat Smith for the third time on a second-round knockout.
One year later, in 1918, Dempsey fought in 17 matches, going 15–1 with one no-decision. One of those fights was with Flynn, who was knocked out by Dempsey, coincidentally, in the first round. Among other matches won that year were against Light Heavyweight Champion Battling Levinsky, Bill Brennan, Fred Fulton, Carl E. Morris, Billy Miske, heavyweight Lefty Jim McGettigan, and Homer Smith. In 1919, he won five consecutive regular bouts by knockout in the first round as well as a one-round special bout.
On July 4, 1919, Dempsey and World Heavyweight Champion Jess Willard met at Toledo for the world title. Pro lightweight fighter Benny Leonard predicted a victory for the 6'1", 187 pound Dempsey even though Willard, known as the "Pottawatamie Giant", was 6'6½" tall and 245 pounds. Ultimately, Willard was knocked down seven times by Dempsey in the first round.
Accounts of the fight reported that Willard suffered a broken jaw, broken ribs, several broken teeth, and a number of deep fractures to his facial bones. This aroused suspicion that Dempsey had cheated, with some questioning how the force capable of causing such damage had been transmitted through Dempsey's knuckles without fracturing them.
Other reports, however, failed to mention Willard suffered any real injuries. The New York Times' account of the fight described severe swelling visible on one side of Willard's face, but did not mention any broken bones. A still photograph of Willard following the fight appears to show discoloration and swelling on his face.
Following the match, Willard was quoted as saying, "Dempsey is a remarkable hitter. It was the first time that I had ever been knocked off my feet. I have sent many birds home in the same bruised condition that I am in, and now I know how they felt. I sincerely wish Dempsey all the luck possible and hope that he garnishes all the riches that comes with the championship. I have had my fling with the title. I was champion for four years and I assure you that they'll never have to give a benefit for me. I have invested the money I have made". Willard later claimed to have been defeated by "gangsterism".
After being fired by Dempsey, manager Jack Kearns gave an account of the fight in the January 20, 1964 issue of Sports Illustrated that has become known as the "loaded gloves theory". In the interview, Kearns claimed to have informed Dempsey he had wagered his share of the purse favoring a Dempsey win with a first-round knockout. Kearns further stated he had applied plaster of Paris to the wrappings on the fighter's hands.
Boxing historian J. J. Johnston said, "the films show Willard upon entering the ring walking over to Dempsey and examining his hands." That, along with an experiment conducted by a boxing magazine designed to re-enact the fight have been noted as proof that Kearns' story was false.
The Ring magazine founder and editor Nat Fleischer claimed to be present when Dempsey's hands were wrapped, stating, "Jack Dempsey had no loaded gloves, and no plaster of Paris over his bandages. I watched the proceedings and the only person who had anything to do with the taping of Jack's hands was Deforest. Kearns had nothing to do with it, so his plaster of Paris story is simply not true."
Deforest himself said that he regarded the stories of Dempsey's gloves being loaded as libel, calling them "trash", and said he did not apply any foreign substance to them, which I can verify since I watched the taping." Sports writer Red Smith, in Dempsey's obituary published by The New York Times' was openly dismissive of the claim.
Another rumor is that Dempsey used a knuckleduster during the first round. Some speculated that the object used was a rail spike. In the Los Angeles Times on July 3, 1979, Joe Stone, an ex-referee and boxing writer, asserted that in a film taken of the fight an object on the canvas could be seen after the final knockdown. He further asserted that the object appears to be removed by someone from Dempsey's corner. In the same film, however, Dempsey can be seen at various times during the fight pushing and holding with Willard with the palm of the glove in question and holding on to the ropes with both hands, making it next to impossible that he had any foreign object embedded in his glove, and the 'object' resembles a cigar.
Further controversy was fueled by the fact that Dempsey left the ring at the end of the first round, thinking the fight was over. This was seen as a violation of the rules, however Willard's corner did not ask for enforcement in order for the referee to disqualify Dempsey.
Following his victory, Jack Dempsey traveled around the country, making publicity appearances with circuses, staging exhibitions, and appearing in a low-budget Hollywood movie. Dempsey did not defend his title until September 1920, with a fight against Billy Miske in Benton Harbor, Michigan. Miske was knocked out in three rounds.
Dempsey's second title defense was in December 1920 against Bill Brennan at Madison Square Garden, New York City. After 10 rounds, Brennan was ahead on points, and Dempsey's left ear was bleeding profusely. Dempsey rebounded to stop Brennan in the 12th round.
Dempsey's next defending fight was against French World War I hero Georges Carpentier, a fighter, popular on both sides of the Atlantic.[E] The bout was promoted by Tex Rickard and George Bernard Shaw, who claimed that Carpentier was "the greatest boxer in the world".
The Dempsey–Carpentier contest took place on July 2, 1921, at Boyle's Thirty Acres in Jersey City, New Jersey. It generated the first million-dollar gate in boxing history; a crowd of 91,000 watched the fight. Though it was deemed "the Fight of the Century", experts anticipated a one-sided win for Dempsey. Radio pioneer RCA arranged for live coverage of the match via KDKA, making the event the first national radio broadcast.
Carpentier wobbled Dempsey with a hard right in the second round. A reporter at ringside, however, counted 25 punches from Dempsey in a single 31-second exchange soon after he was supposedly injured by the right. Carpentier also broke his thumb in that round, which crippled his chances. Dempsey ended up winning the match in the fourth round.
The last successful title defense for Dempsey was in September 1923 at New York City's Polo Grounds in Dempsey vs. Firpo. Attendance was 85,000, with another 20,000 trying to get inside the arena. Firpo was knocked down repeatedly by Dempsey, yet continued to battle back, even knocking Dempsey down twice. On the second occasion he was floored, Dempsey flew head-first through the ring ropes, landing on a ringside reporter's typewriter. At this point he was out of the ring for approximately 14 seconds, less than the 20 second rule for out-of-ring knockouts. Nevertheless, he was helped back into the ring by the writers at ringside. Ultimately, Dempsey beat Argentinian contender Luis Ángel Firpo with a second-round KO. The fight was transmitted live by radio to Buenos Aires.
Dempsey did not defend his title for three years following the Firpo fight. There was pressure from the public and the media for Dempsey to defend his title against Black contender Harry Wills. Disagreement exists among boxing historians as to whether Dempsey avoided Wills, though Dempsey claimed he was willing to fight him. When he originally won the title, however, he had said he would no longer fight Black boxers.
Instead of continuing to defend his title, Dempsey earned money with boxing exhibitions, product endorsements, and by appearing in films, such as the adventure film serial Daredevil Jack. Dempsey also did a lot of traveling, spending, and partying. During this time away from competitive fighting, Dempsey married actress Estelle Taylor in 1925 and fired his long-time trainer/manager Jack "Doc" Kearns. Kearns repeatedly sued Dempsey for large sums of money following his firing.
In September 1926, Dempsey fought the Irish American and former U.S. Marine Gene Tunney in Philadelphia,[F] a fighter who had only lost once in his career. In spite of his record, Tunney was considered the underdog against Dempsey.
The match ended in an upset, with Dempsey losing his title on points in 10 rounds. When the defeated Dempsey returned to his dressing room, he explained his loss to his wife by saying, "Honey, I forgot to duck." Fifty-five years later president Ronald Reagan borrowed this quote when his wife Nancy visited him in the emergency room after the attempt on his life.
Following his loss of the heavyweight title, Dempsey contemplated retiring, but decided to try a comeback. It was during this time period that tragedy struck his family when his brother, John Dempsey, shot his estranged wife Edna (aged 21) and then killed himself in a murder-suicide, leaving behind a two year old son, Bruce. Dempsey was called upon to identify the bodies and was said to be emotionally affected by the incident. 
During a July 21, 1927 fight at Yankee Stadium, Dempsey knocked out future Heavyweight Champion Jack Sharkey in the seventh round. The fight was an elimination bout for a title shot against Tunney. Sharkey was beating Dempsey until the end. The fight ended controversially when Sharkey claimed Dempsey had been hitting him below the belt. When Sharkey turned to the referee, to complain, he left himself unprotected. Dempsey crashed a left hook onto Sharkey's chin, knocking him out and the referee counted Sharkey out on a ten-count.
The Dempsey-Tunney rematch took place in Chicago, Illinois, on September 22, 1927 – one day less than a year after losing his title to Tunney. Generating more interest than the Carpentier and Firpo bouts, the fight brought in a record-setting $2 million gate. Reportedly, gangster Al Capone offered to fix the rematch in his favor, but the referee was changed to prevent that from happening. Millions around the country listened to the match by radio while hundreds of reporters covered the event. Tunney was paid a record one million dollars for the rematch. Today's equivalent in U.S currency would be approximately $14,423,372.00.
Dempsey was losing the fight on points when in the seventh round he knocked Tunney down with a left hook to the chin then landed several more punches. A new rule instituted at the time of the fight mandated that when a fighter knocked down an opponent, he must immediately go to a neutral corner. Dempsey, however, refused to immediately move to the neutral corner when instructed by the referee. The referee had to escort Dempsey to the neutral corner, which bought Tunney at least an extra five seconds to recover. Even though the official timekeeper clocked 14 seconds Tunney was down, Tunney got up at the referee's count of 9. Dempsey then attempted to finish Tunney off before the end of the round, but failed to do so. Tunney dropped Dempsey for a count of one in round eight and won the final two rounds of the fight, retaining the title of World Heavyweight Champion on a unanimous decision. Ironically, the neutral corner rule was requested during negotiations by members of the Dempsey camp. Another discrepancy was, when Tunney knocked Dempsey down, the timekeeper started the count immediately, not waiting for Tunney to move to a neutral corner. Because of the controversial nature of the fight due to the neutral corner rule and conflicting counts, the Dempsey-Tunney rematch remains known as "The Long Count Fight".
Dempsey retired from boxing following the Tunney rematch, but continued with numerous exhibition bouts. Following retirement, Dempsey became known as a philanthropist. In June 1932, he sponsored the "Ride of Champions" bucking horse event at Reno, Nevada with the "Dempsey Trophy" going to legendary bronc rider Pete Knight. In 1933, Dempsey was approached by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer to portray a boxer in the film, The Prizefighter and the Lady, directed by W. S. Van Dyke and co-starring Myrna Loy.
The Riviera del Pacifico Cultural and Convention Center in Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico, built in 1930, was a gambling casino supposedly financed by Al Capone and managed by Jack Dempsey. Its clientele included Myrna Loy, Lana Turner and Dolores del Río.
In 1935, Dempsey opened Jack Dempsey's Restaurant in New York City on Eighth Avenue and 50th Street, across from the third Madison Square Garden. The restaurant's name was later changed to Jack Dempsey's Broadway Restaurant when it relocated to Times Square on Broadway between 49th and 50th Streets. It remained open until 1974. Dempsey was also a co-owner of the Howard Manor in Palm Springs, California.
Dempsey married four times; his first two wives were Maxine Gates (married from 1916 to 1919) and Estelle Taylor (married in 1925). Dempsey divorced Taylor in 1930, and married Broadway singer and recent divorcee Hannah Williams in 1933. Williams was previously married to bandleader Roger Wolfe Kahn. Dempsey and Williams had two children together and divorced in 1943. Dempsey then married Deanna Piatelli, remaining married to her until his death in 1983. The couple had one child, a daughter, whom they adopted together, and who would later write a book on Dempsey's life with Piatelli.
When the United States entered World War II, Dempsey had an opportunity to refute any remaining criticism of his war record of two decades earlier. Dempsey joined the New York State Guard and was given a commission as a first lieutenant, later resigning that commission to accept a commission as a lieutenant in the Coast Guard Reserve. Dempsey reported for duty in June 1942 at Coast Guard Training Station, Manhattan Beach, Brooklyn, New York, where he was assigned as "Director of Physical Education." As part of the ongoing war effort, Dempsey made personal appearances at fights, camps, hospitals and War Bond drives. Dempsey was promoted to lieutenant commander in December 1942 and commander in March 1944. In 1944, Dempsey was assigned to the transport USS Wakefield (AP-21). In 1945, he was on board the attack transport USS Arthur Middleton (APA-25) for the invasion of Okinawa. Dempsey also spent time aboard the USS General William Mitchell (AP-114), where he spent time showing the crew sparring techniques. Dempsey was released from active duty in September 1945 and received an honorable discharge from the Coast Guard Reserve in 1952.
Dempsey authored a book on boxing titled Championship Fighting: Explosive Punching and Aggressive Defense and published in 1950. The book emphasizes knockout power derived from enabling fast motion from one's heavy bodyweight.
After the world-famous Louis-Schmeling fight, Dempsey stated he was glad he never had to face Joe Louis in the ring; when Louis eventually fell on hard times financially, Dempsey served as honorary chairman of a relief fund to assist him.
Dempsey was an inaugural 1954 inductee to The Ring magazine's Boxing Hall of Fame (disbanded in 1987), and was an inaugural 1990 inductee to the International Boxing Hall of Fame. In 1970, Dempsey became part of the "charter class" in the Utah Sports Hall of Fame.
He recounted an incident where he was assaulted while walking home at night, telling the press in 1971 that the two young muggers attempted to grab his arms, but he broke free and laid them both out cold on the sidewalk. The story of the encounter appeared in the Hendersonville Times-News, and reported the incident had taken place "a few years [earlier]". In 1977, in collaboration with his daughter Barbara Lynn, Dempsey published his autobiography, titled Dempsey. In tribute to his legacy and boxing career, a 2004 PBS documentary summarized "Dempsey's boxing style consisted of constantly bobbing and weaving. His attacks were furious and sustained. Behind it all was rage. His aggressive behavior prompted a rule that boxers had to retreat to a neutral corner and give opponents who had been knocked down a chance to get up." According to the Encyclopædia Britannica, constant attack was his strategic defense. In 2011, Dempsey was posthumously inducted into the Irish American Hall of Fame.
|75||Loss||54–6–9||Gene Tunney||UD||10||Sep 22, 1927||Soldier Field, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.||For NBA, The Ring, and lineal heavyweight titles|
|74||Win||54–5–9||Jack Sharkey||KO||7 (15), 0:45||Jul 21, 1927||Yankee Stadium, New York City, New York, U.S.|
|73||Loss||53–5–9||Gene Tunney||UD||10||Sep 23, 1926||Sesquicentennial Stadium, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.||Lost NBA, The Ring, and lineal heavyweight titles|
|72||Win||53–4–9||Luis Ángel Firpo||KO||2 (15), 0:57||Sep 14, 1923||New York City, New York, U.S.||Retained NYSAC, The Ring, and lineal heavyweight titles|
|71||Win||52–4–9||Tommy Gibbons||PTS||15||Jul 4, 1923||Arena, Shelby, Montana, U.S.||Retained The Ring and lineal heavyweight titles|
|70||Win||51–4–9||Georges Carpentier||KO||4 (12)||Jul 2, 1921||Boyle's Thirty Acres, Jersey City, New Jersey, U.S.||Retained lineal heavyweight title;|
Won vacant NBA heavyweight title
|69||Win||50–4–9||Bill Brennan||KO||12 (15), 1:57||Dec 14, 1920||Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, U.S.||Retained lineal heavyweight title|
|68||Win||49–4–9||Billy Miske||KO||3 (10), 1:13||Sep 6, 1919||Floyd Fitzsimmons Arena, Benton Harbor, Michigan, U.S.||Retained lineal heavyweight title|
|67||Win||48–4–9||Jess Willard||RTD||3 (12)||Jul 4, 1919||Bay View Park Arena, Toledo, Ohio, U.S.||Won lineal heavyweight title|
|66||Win||47–4–9||Gunboat Smith||KO||2 (8)||Dec 30, 1918||Broadway Auditorium, Buffalo, New York, U.S.|
|65||Win||46–4–9||Carl Morris||KO||1 (20), 1:00||Dec 16, 1918||Auditorium, New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.|
|64||Win||N/A||Billy Miske||NWS||6||Nov 28, 1918||Olympia AC, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.|
|63||Win||45–4–9||Dan Flynn||KO||1 (6), 2:16||Nov 18, 1918||Olympia AC, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.|
|62||Win||44–4–9||Battling Levinsky||KO||3 (6)||Nov 6, 1918||Olympia AC, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.|
|61||Win||43–4–9||Jack Moran||KO||1 (10)||Sep 14, 1918||Moana Springs Arena, Reno, Nevada, U.S.|
|60||Loss||42–4–9||Willie Meehan||PTS||4||Sep 13, 1918||Civic Auditorium, San Francisco, California, U.S.|
|59||Win||42–3–9||Terry Kellar||TKO||5 (15)||Aug 24, 1918||Westwood Field Gym, Dayton, Ohio, U.S.|
|58||Win||41–3–9||Fred Fulton||KO||1 (8), 0:23||Jul 27, 1918||Harrison Park, Harrison, New Jersey, U.S.|
|57||Win||40–3–9||Dan Flynn||KO||1 (10)||Jul 6, 1918||Municipal Auditorium, Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.|
|56||Win||39–3–9||Bob Devere||KO||1 (12)||Jul 4, 1918||Joe Becker Stadium, Tulsa, Oklahoma, U.S.|
|55||Win||38–3–9||Kid McCarthy||KO||1 (12)||Jul 1, 1918||Convention Hall, Tulsa, Oklahoma, U.S.|
|54||Win||37–3–9||Arthur Pelkey||KO||1 (15), 1:00||May 29, 1918||Stockyards Stadium, Denver, Colorado, U.S.|
|53||Win||36–3–9||Dan Ketchell||KO||2 (10)||May 22, 1918||Excelsior Springs, Missouri, U.S.|
|52||Draw||N/A||Billy Miske||NWS||10||May 3, 1918||Auditorium, Saint Paul, Minnesota, U.S.|
|51||Win||35–3–9||Tom Riley||KO||1 (15)||Mar 25, 1918||Southwest AC, Joplin, Missouri, U.S.|
|50||Win||34–3–9||Fred Saddy||KO||1 (8)||Mar 16, 1918||Phoenix AC, Memphis, Tennessee, U.S.|
|49||Win||33–3–9||Bill Brennan||TKO||6 (10)||Feb 25, 1918||Auditorium, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S.|
|48||Win||32–3–9||Fireman Jim Flynn||KO||1 (10), 1:10||Feb 14, 1918||Fort Sheridan, Illinois, U.S.|
|47||Win||31–3–9||Carl Morris||DQ||6 (10)||Feb 4, 1918||Broadway Auditorium, Buffalo, New York, U.S.||Morris disqualified for repeated low blows|
|46||Win||30–3–9||Homer Smith||KO||1 (10), 1:15||Jan 24, 1918||Racine, Wisconsin, U.S.|
|45||Win||29–3–9||Carl Morris||PTS||4||Nov 2, 1917||Dreamland Rink, San Francisco, California, U.S.|
|44||Win||28–3–9||Gunboat Smith||PTS||4||Oct 2, 1917||Recreation Park, San Francisco, California, U.S.|
|43||Win||27–3–9||Bob McAllister||PTS||4||Sep 26, 1917||Arena, Emeryville, California, U.S.|
|42||Win||26–3–9||Charley Miller||KO||1 (4)||Sep 19, 1917||Arena, Emeryville, California, U.S.|
|41||Draw||25–3–9||Willie Meehan||PTS||4||Sep 7, 1917||Dreamland Rink, San Francisco, California, U.S.|
|40||Draw||25–3–8||Willie Meehan||PTS||4||Aug 10, 1917||Dreamland Rink, San Francisco, California, U.S.|
|39||Win||25–3–7||Al Norton||KO||1 (4)||Aug 1, 1917||Arena, Emeryville, California, U.S.|
|38||Win||24–3–7||Willie Meehan||PTS||4||Jul 25, 1917||Arena, Emeryville, California, U.S.|
|37||Draw||23–3–7||Al Norton||PTS||4||Apr 11, 1917||West Oakland Club, Oakland, California, U.S.|
|36||Loss||23–3–6||Willie Meehan||PTS||4||Mar 28, 1917||Arena, Emeryville, California, U.S.|
|35||Draw||23–2–6||Al Norton||PTS||4||Mar 21, 1917||West Oakland, Oakland, California, U.S.|
|34||Loss||23–2–5||Fireman Jim Flynn||KO||1 (15), 0:25||Feb 13, 1917||Murray Fire Hall, Murray, Utah, U.S.|
|33||Win||23–1–5||Young Hector||KO||2 (10)||Nov 28, 1916||Salida, Colorado, U.S.|
|32||Win||22–1–5||Dick Gilbert||PTS||10||Oct 16, 1916||Salt Lake Theatre, Salt Lake City, Utah, U.S.|
|31||Win||21–1–5||Terry Kellar||PTS||10||Oct 7, 1916||Bijo Hall, Ely, Nevada, U.S.|
|30||Win||20–1–5||Young Hector||RTD||3 (15)||Sep 28, 1916||Fire Hall, Murray, Utah, U.S.|
|29||Draw||N/A||John Lester Johnson||NWS||10||Jul 14, 1916||Harlem SC, New York City, New York, U.S.|
|28||Win||N/A||Bert Kenny||NWS||10||Jul 8, 1916||Fairmont AC, New York City, New York, U.S.|
|27||Win||N/A||Andre Anderson||NWS||10||Jun 24, 1916||Fairmont AC, New York City, New York, U.S.|
|26||Win||19–1–5||Bob York||KO||4 (6)||May 30, 1916||Elko Theatre, Price, Utah, U.S.||Billed for Pacific Coast light heavyweight title|
|25||Win||18–1–5||Dan Ketchell||TKO||3 (10)||May 17, 1916||Provo, Utah, U.S.|
|24||Win||17–1–5||Terry Kellar||PTS||10||May 3, 1916||Alhambra Theatre, Ogden, Utah, U.S.||Billed for world light heavyweight title|
|23||Win||16–1–5||Joe Bonds||PTS||10||Apr 8, 1916||Bijo Hall, Ely, Nevada, U.S.|
|22||Win||15–1–5||George Christian||KO||1 (15)||Mar 17, 1916||Eko Theatre, Price, Utah, U.S.|
|21||Win||14–1–5||Cyril Kohen||KO||4 (6)||Mar 9, 1916||Mozart Theatre, Provo, Utah, U.S.|
|20||Win||13–1–5||Boston Bearcat||KO||1 (4)||Feb 23, 1916||Armory, Ogden, Utah, U.S.|
|19||Win||12–1–5||Jack Downey||KO||2 (4)||Feb 21, 1916||Manhattan AC, Salt Lake City, Utah, U.S.|
|18||Win||11–1–5||Johnny Sudenberg||KO||2 (10)||Feb 1, 1916||Bijo Hall, Ely, Nevada, U.S.|
|17||Win||10–1–5||Jack Gillian||TKO||1 (4)||Dec 20, 1915||Manhattan AC, Salt Lake City, Utah, U.S.|
|16||Draw||9–1–5||Jack Downey||PTS||4||Dec 13, 1915||The Grand Theatre, Salt Lake City, Utah, U.S.|
|15||Win||9–1–4||George Coplen||KO||6 (10)||Nov 19, 1915||Lyric Opera House, Cripple Creek, Colorado, U.S.|
|14||Win||8–1–4||Andy Malloy||KO||3 (10)||Oct 23, 1915||Moose Hall, Montrose, Colorado, U.S.|
|13||Win||N/A||Andy Malloy||NWS||10||Oct 7, 1915||Gem Theatre, Durango, Colorado, U.S.|
|12||Win||7–1–4||Fred Woods||KO||4||Aug 1, 1915||Moose Hall, Montrose, Colorado, U.S.|
|11||Draw||6–1–4||Johnny Sudenberg||PTS||10||Jun 11, 1915||Tonopah, Nevada, U.S.|
|10||Draw||6–1–3||Johnny Sudenberg||PTS||6||May 31, 1915||Goldfield, Nevada, U.S.|
|9||Win||6–1–2||Emmanuel Campbell||TKO||4 (4)||Apr 26, 1915||Jockey AC, Reno, Nevada, U.S.|
|8||Loss||5–1–2||Jack Downey||PTS||4||Apr 5, 1915||Garrick Theater, Salt Lake City, Utah, U.S.|
|7||Win||5–0–2||Chief Gordon||KO||6||Apr 1, 1915||Utah, U.S.|
|6||Win||4–0–2||John Pierson||KO||7||Mar 3, 1915||Utah, U.S.|
|5||Draw||3–0–2||Laverne Collier||PTS||4||Feb 26, 1915||Pocatello, Idaho, U.S.|
|4||Win||3–0–1||Joe Lyons||KO||9||Feb 2, 1915||Utah, U.S.|
|3||Win||2–0–1||Jim Johnson||KO||1||Jan 1, 1915||Salt Lake City, Utah, U.S.|
|2||Win||1–0–1||Billy Murphy||KO||1 (4)||Nov 30, 1914||Garrick Theater, Salt Lake City, Utah, U.S.|
|1||Draw||0–0–1||Young Herman||PTS||6||Aug 18, 1914||Ramona AC Arena, Colorado Springs, Colorado, U.S.|
'John the Barber,' in private life John J. Reisler, known on Broadway for many years as a barber, fight manager, and friend of the street's great and near-great, died yesterday...
Jack Kearns, who managed Jack Dempsey and other boxing champions, died today at the home of his son Jack Kearns Jr. He was 80 years old.
Georges Carpentier, who lost on a fourth-round knockout to Jack Dempsey in boxing's first $1-million gate, died last night of a heart attack. He was 81 years old.
Gene Tunney, the former heavyweight boxing champion who twice defeated Jack Dempsey, died yesterday at the Greenwich Hospital in Connecticut. He was 80 years old and had been suffering from a circulation ailment.
Apparently in a spell of temporary insanity due to a recurring attack of an illness to which he had been subject for several years, John Dempsey, brother of the former heavyweight champion, fatally shot his 21-year-old revile, Edna, in a rooming house here today.
|World boxing titles|
|Inaugural champion|| The Ring heavyweight champion
1922 – September 23, 1926
| World heavyweight champion|
July 4, 1919 – September 23, 1926
| Longest reigning
world heavyweight champion
October 13, 1925 – September 12, 1944
David Lloyd George
| Cover of Time magazine
September 10, 1923
Big City is a 1937 American drama film directed by Frank Borzage and starring Luise Rainer and Spencer Tracy. The film was also released as Skyscraper Wilderness.Boxing in the 1920s
Boxing in the 1920s was an exceptionally popular international sport. Many fights during this era, some 20 years away or so from the television era, were social events with many thousands in attendance, both men and women.
World Heavyweight champion Jack Dempsey dominated the sport through much of the decade. He won the title in 1919, keeping it until 1926. He lost the title to Gene Tunney in 1926, but many of his fights were historic, such as his defenses against Georges Carpentier, Luis Firpo and Tom Gibbons, a fight which almost bankrupted the town of Shelby, Montana. His 1927 rematch against Tunney became known in boxing history as The Long Count Fight. Dempsey became a household name, and he dated and married Hollywood actresses. He was, along with Babe Ruth, Red Grange, Bill Tilden and Bobby Jones, one of the so-called Big Five of sports.
Other important boxers included Benny Lynch (from West Scotland). Panama Al Brown was the first Hispanic to become a world champion.
Because airlines lacked the structured schedules of the modern days, many boxers had to make their way to important fights by train.
In 1921, the National Boxing Association was formed. It was the predecessor of what is known now as the WBA. Tex Rickard was the leading promoter of the day, and he has been compared to P.T. Barnum and Don King.Daredevil Jack
Daredevil Jack is a 1920 American silent action film serial directed by W. S. Van Dyke and starring heavyweight champion Jack Dempsey. An incomplete copy of the film is housed in the UCLA Film and Television Archive. The supporting cast features Lon Chaney, Edgar Kennedy, and Bull Montana. This was the first of 23 films, many of them short subjects, in which the iconic boxer Dempsey appeared, usually as the top-billed leading man.Georges Carpentier
Georges Carpentier (French pronunciation: [ʒɔʁʒ kaʁ.pɑ̃ˈtje]; January 12, 1894 – October 28, 1975) was a French boxer, actor and World War I pilot. He fought mainly as a light heavyweight and heavyweight in a career lasting from 1908 to 1926. Nicknamed the "Orchid Man", he stood 5 feet 11 1⁄2 inches (182 cm) and his fighting weight ranged from 126 to 175 pounds (57 to 79 kg). Carpentier was known for his speed, his excellent boxing skills and his extremely hard punch. The Parisian Sports Arena Halle Georges Carpentier is named after him.Jack Dempsey's Broadway Restaurant
Jack Dempsey's Broadway Restaurant, known popularly as Jack Dempsey's, was a restaurant located in the Brill Building on Broadway between 49th and 50th streets in Manhattan, New York.Owned by world Heavyweight boxing champion, Jack Dempsey, it was considered by many to be an American institution. The restaurant originally opened for business as Jack Dempsey's Restaurant on Eighth Avenue and 50th Street, directly across from the third Madison Square Garden, in 1935. Most nights would find Dempsey's famous proprietor on hand to greet guests, sign autographs, pose for pictures, and hold court with people from all walks of life.
Located next door to Jack Amiel's "Turf Restaurant" on Times Square, Amiel became famous as the owner of the "underdog" horse Count Turf who won the 1951 Kentucky Derby. A few years after his Derby win, Jack Amiel became a co-owner of Jack Dempsey's Restaurant, which closed in 1974.
A favorite attraction of the restaurant was its famous cheesecake. In a letter to New York Magazine in 1973 Dempsey wrote,"Jack Dempsey's cheesecake has been in existence for almost 40 years. And in New York it is an institution in itself. It is baked on our premises, eaten in our restaurant, as well as airmailed all over the United States and Europe. We have had requests for our cheesecake from tourists who come to New York from faraway places; we've fulfilled requests over the years from France's late President Charles DeGaulle, who had his cheesecakes sent several times a year."Jack Dempsey (fish)
The Jack Dempsey (Rocio octofasciata) is a species of cichlid that is widely distributed across North and Central America (from Mexico south to Honduras). Its common name refers to its aggressive nature and strong facial features, likened to that of the famous 1920s boxer Jack Dempsey.Jack Dempsey (politician)
John Mark Dempsey (born 1966) is an Australian politician. He is the Mayor of the Bundaberg Regional Council. He previously served as a Member of the Queensland Legislative Assembly from 2006 to 2015.Jack Dempsey (rugby union)
Jack Dempsey (born 12 April 1994) is an Australian rugby union player of Irish descent who currently plays for the Waratahs in the international Super Rugby competition. Domestically he is contracted to the North Harbour Rays who compete in the National Rugby Championship. His regular playing position is either as a flanker or number eight.
Dempsey has represented Australia at schoolboy and under-20 level. He was capped for Australia against Italy, coming off the bench at Lang Park in Brisbane on 24 June 2017.Jack Dempsey (wrestler)
Thomas Moore (1920 – November 2007) was a British professional wrestler, best known by his ring name Jack Dempsey, who was active in North American and European regional promotions from the 1930s to the 1960s.
At the time of his 1966 retirement, he was a quadruple-crown British, European, Commonweatlh and World (European version) Welterweight Champion.
One of the leading British welterweight champions during the 1960s, he faced many top stars of the era including George Kidd, Joe Murphy, John Foley, Eddie Capelli, Bob Steele, Alan Colbeck and, most notably, Mick McManus whom he defeated for the British Welterweight Championship in 1958.Jack Dempsey vs. Georges Carpentier
Jack Dempsey versus Georges Carpentier was a boxing fight between world heavyweight champion Jack Dempsey and world light-heavyweight champion Georges Carpentier, which was one of the fights named the "Fight of the Century". The bout took place in the United States on Saturday, July 2, 1921, at Boyle's Thirty Acres in Jersey City, New Jersey.Jack Dempsey vs. Luis Ángel Firpo
The Jack Dempsey versus Luis Ángel Firpo fight was a historic boxing fight: It was the first time that a Latin American fighter would challenge for the world Heavyweight title, and it would be one of the defining fights of Dempsey's career.Jack Dempsey vs. Tommy Gibbons
The Jack Dempsey vs. Tommy Gibbons fight was a bout for boxing's world heavyweight title. It was held on July 4, 1923, in the town of Shelby, Montana, USA.Jess Willard
Jess Myron Willard (December 29, 1881 – December 15, 1968) was a world heavyweight boxing champion known as the Pottawatomie Giant who knocked out Jack Johnson in April 1915 for the heavyweight title. He was known for his great strength and ability to absorb tremendous punishment, although today he is also known for his title loss to Jack Dempsey.
Willard held the championship for more than four years. Today his reign is considered the 11th longest in the heavyweight division. He lost the title to Jack Dempsey in 1919 in one of the most severe beatings ever in a championship bout. Willard was knocked down for the first time in his career during the first round and another seven times before the round was over; some reports claim that he suffered broken ribs, shattered jaw, broken nose, four missing teeth, partial hearing loss in one ear along with numerous cuts and contusions, but these reports are highly disputable. Jess fought for two more rounds before retiring on his stool because of the injuries he received in the first round, relinquishing the title.
At 6 ft 6 1⁄2 in (1.99 m) and 235 lb (107 kg), Willard was the tallest and the largest heavyweight champion in boxing history, until the 270 pounds (120 kg) Primo Carnera won the title on June 29, 1933, and the 6 ft 7 in (201 cm) Vitali Klitschko won the WBC title in 2004 and the 7 ft Nikolai Valuev won the WBA title in 2005.Ken Goldstein
Ken Goldstein, also known as Kene G and Jack Dempsey, born June 1969, is an American musician, film and television writer, producer, director and occasional actor. He is a co-founder of Planet illogica and CEO of The Six Shooter Company and the author of the book series, The Way of the Nerd. Goldstein is an active speaker at conferences and festivals, universities and private and public institutions. He has been a featured and Keynote speaker in Brazil, Australia, France and Germany. He is also a songwriter, guitar player, performer and recording artist who often performs under the stage name Jack Dempsey. In 2014 Ken Goldstein completed his first solo album as Jack Dempsey at Capitol Records. The album was produced and engineered by Niko Bolas.Nonpareil Dempsey
John Edward Kelly (December 15, 1862 – November 1, 1895) was an Irish-born American boxer, better known as Nonpareil Jack Dempsey who was the first holder of the World Middleweight Championship. He was nicknamed "Nonpareil" because of his reputation of being unbeatable.Off Limits (1953 film)
Off Limits is a 1953 comedy film directed by George Marshall and starring Bob Hope, Mickey Rooney and Marilyn Maxwell. Hope plays a manager who enlists in the army to keep an eye on his boxer, who has been drafted. The picture was written by Hal Kanter and Jack Sher, and was released in the UK as Military Policemen, as the characters played by Hope and Rooney join the military police.Requiem for a Heavyweight
Requiem for a Heavyweight was a teleplay written by Rod Serling and produced for the live television show Playhouse 90 on 11 October 1956. Six years later, it was adapted as a 1962 feature film starring Anthony Quinn, Jackie Gleason and Mickey Rooney.
The teleplay won a Peabody Award, the first given to an individual script in television, and helped establish Serling's reputation. The broadcast was directed by Ralph Nelson and is generally considered one of the finest examples of live television drama in the United States, as well as being Serling's personal favorite of his own work. Nelson and Serling won Emmy Awards for their work.Tex Rickard
George Lewis "Tex" Rickard (January 2, 1870 – January 6, 1929) was an American boxing promoter, founder of the New York Rangers of the National Hockey League (NHL), and builder of the third incarnation of Madison Square Garden in New York City. During the 1920s, Tex Rickard was the leading promoter of the day, and he has been compared to P. T. Barnum and Don King. Sports journalist Frank Deford has written that Rickard "first recognized the potential of the star system." Rickard also operated several saloons, hotels, and casinos, all named Northern and located in Alaska, Nevada, and Canada.The Prizefighter and the Lady
The Prizefighter and the Lady is a 1933 pre-Code Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer romance film starring Myrna Loy and the professional boxers Max Baer, Primo Carnera, and Jack Dempsey. The film was adapted for the screen by John Lee Mahin and John Meehan from a story by Frances Marion. Marion was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Writing, Original Story.
|Professional record summary|
|75 fights||54 wins||6 losses|