Jack Dempsey

World Heavy Weight Champion


Jack Dempsey was born on June 24, 1895 in a small Mormon village in Manassa, Colorado. In his early years he worked as a farm hand, a miner, and a cowboy. His older brother was his big influence to start fighting. He taught Jack everything he knew about boxing. Throughout his childhood and the early ages of his teenage life, Jack and his family moved many times. They started in Colorado then moved to Utah, West Virginia, and then back to his home town in Colorado. He dropped out of school after eighth grade and started to work hard every day to try and support his family. He was a shoe shiner, picked crops, and worked in a sugar refinery, unloading beets for only ten cents an hour. At the age of 17, Dempsey was a skilled boxer. From 1911-1916, he traveled from city to city, bar to bar picking up what ever fight he could. On July 4, 1919, Jack Dempsey picked up his first real challenge; the world heavyweight champion of the time, Jess Willard. Despite the size disadvantage, Dempsey beat Willard with his quickness and excellent foot work. Dempsey then became the world heavyweight champion. This fight was the major talk around town for several months. Jack defended his title five times. He fought up to the last six months of his life. Jack Dempsey died on June 1, 1983 of illness. He was 87. He still lives on as an inspiration to young men, someday hoping to fight like this great man did.


Dempsey not only made an impact on his family but also the world. He was a very entertaining man and many people loved to watch him fight. He made an impact by not only making this era more interesting but by being a figure to look up to. Even though he was involved in a very violent sport, that did not reflect on his personality, He showed respect, sportsmanship, and he was polite to everybody, even his opponent.
Jack Dempsey Biography

Video Questions

1). How did they describe Dempsey's fighting skills?

2). What year did his first marriage end and how long did it last?