Joseph Louis “Joe Louis” Barrow
Joe Louis was born in LaFayette, Alabama moving to Detroit, Michigan with his family as a twelve-year-old Spending time at a local recreation center, Louis became interested in boxing starting his amateur career at age 17 and during which he compiled a 50 – 3 record winning a National Golden Gloves title in the light heavyweight classification. As Louis progressed to a professional career he moved to the heavyweight division. Louis won his first professional fight in 1934 and was dominant over the next three years as he worked up to winning the world heavyweight championship in 1937. Over the next twelve years, Louis would defend his heavyweight title 30 times before losing his title in 1950. He would go on to compile a 68 – 3 record with 52 knockouts. Louis would go on to enlist in World War II where he rose to the rank of technical sergeant and was awarded the Legion of Merit for “incalculable contribution to the general morale” and qualified for immediate release from military service. Louis was named fighter of the year four times by Ring Magazine and in 2005 was named the #1 heavyweight of all time by the International Boxing Research Organization. Louis has been popularized in many movies and television shows. Joe Louis was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1990 and was inducted into the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame in 1955. He passed away on April 12, 1981 at 66 years of age.