DEAD: ON THIS DATE
Joe Louis (aged 66)
Joseph Louis Barrow (May 13, 1914 – April 12, 1981), best known as Joe Louis was an American professional boxer who competed from 1934 to 1951. He reigned as the world heavyweight champion from 1937 to 1949, and is considered to be one of the greatest heavyweight boxers of all time. Nicknamed the “Brown Bomber”, Louis’ championship reign lasted 140 consecutive months, during which he participated in 26 championship fights. The 27th fight, against Ezzard Charles in 1950, was a challenge for Charles’ heavyweight title and so is not included in Louis’ reign. He was victorious in 25 title defenses, second only to Julio César Chávez with 27. In 2005, Louis was ranked as the best heavyweight of all time by the International Boxing Research Organization, and was ranked number one on The Ring magazine’s list of the “100 greatest punchers of all time”.
DEATH: Louis had two children by wife Marva Trotter (daughter Jacqueline in 1943 and son Joseph Louis Barrow Jr. in 1947). They divorced in March 1945 only to remarry a year later, but were again divorced in February 1949. Marva moved on to an acting and modeling career. On Christmas Day 1955, Louis married Rose Morgan, a successful Harlem businesswoman; their marriage was annulled in 1958. Louis’s final marriage—to Martha Jefferson, a lawyer from Los Angeles, on St. Patrick’s Day 1959—lasted until his death. They had four children: another son named Joseph Louis Barrow Jr, John Louis Barrow, Joyce Louis Barrow, and Janet Louis Barrow. The younger Joe Louis Barrow Jr. lives in New York City and is involved in boxing. Though married four times, Louis discreetly enjoyed the company of other women like Lena Horne and Edna Mae Harris.