Jack Dempsey

By: Spencer Black


Jack Dempsey was born June 24, 1895 into his family. He started working at the age of 8 due to his family's poverty; he mined, was a farmhand, and "cowboyed." He experienced minimal schooling and left his family at the age of 16 to find work.

As he grew up, he became a prominent boxer due mainly to his hard work and will to win. (He started out with the nickname "kid blackie.") Throughout his career, he won 66 bouts consisting of 51 TKO's (technical knockouts), 14 decisions, and 1 disqualification. He tied in 11 bouts, and only lost 6 fights (1 knockout, but he went on to later knockout the only person who ever knocked him out). He appeared in 7 world title fights and won all but the last 2, and some of those included some major controversies. (Later on in his boxing career others nicknamed him "Manassa Mauler.")

After retirement, following his second title loss, Dempsey entered WWII. During his service, he was stationed a commander on the USS Wakefield and helped in the invasion of Okinawa. While on the ship, he taught his crew members various sparring techniques, so that if they ever came in hand to hand combat they'd be prepared.

Later on his life, he went on to write a biography titled Dempsey. Shortly after he had written his biography, it had been reported that two young people had tried to mug him. He had said that they had gone for his arms, and after breaking free, he promptly knocked them both out cold.

Jack Dempsey died May 31, 1983 at the age of 87 due to heart failure. Reportedly, his last words to his wife were, "Don't worry honey, I'm too mean to die."

Before his death, Dempsey was inducted into the Utah Sports Hall of Fame and the International Boxing Hall of Fame. After his death, in 2011, he was inducted into the Irish American Hall of Fame.

Jack's Impact on the 20's

Jack helped to modernize not just boxing in the 1920's, but sports in general. He led to gambling taking off and it spread throughout the entire US because his fights were nationwide due to the still fairly new invention of the automobile. Dempsey was also an inspiration for Irish Immigrants in America because he was an Irish American himself. Furthermore, Dempsey was a "David" to all of the smaller people watching him, which was also inspirational to many (most of the people he went against were "Goliaths" being a lot larger than him).
Jack Dempsey and Jess Willard- The Worst Beating in Boxing History - W/ Commentary

Video Question

On a scale of 1-10, 10 being the most, how much do you think Jack Dempsey dominated this fight?