Joe Louis with friends on Chicken Bone Beach, Atlantic City, NJ

Credit Line
John W. Mosley Photograph Collection, Charles L. Blockson Afro-American Collection, Temple University Libraries, Philadelphia, PA

Joe Louis (1914–1981) was a world heavyweight boxing champion who became a national hero known as the “Brown Bomber.” His career became intertwined with global politics when he won boxing matches against heavyweight champions from Mussolini’s Italy in 1935 and Hitler’s Germany in 1938. A leading figure in American sports from 1934 through 1951, Louis was a much-loved figure. He retired from the game when he was defeated in 1951 by Rocky Marciano. Louis enjoyed golf, and was the first black player to compete in the PGA in 1952.

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