Boxing in the 1920’s? You better believe it! Jack Dempsey was considered one of the very best in the sport of boxing. He possessed the aggression of a grizzly bear in the ring but the gentle spirit of a teddy bear outside the ring. This drew him into the hearts of many. Due to his extreme popularity he opened the door to public radio. For these reasons, Jack Dempsey was influential to the 1920’s and even to this very day.
William Harrison Dempsey, better known as Jack Dempsey, was born on June 24, 1895. He was born in Colorado but became a “nomadic traveler” when he began his boxing career in the small rickety towns of his home state (“Biography”). At the age of sixteen, Dempsey started training to box. To support himself and his dream, he dug ditches, picked peaches, traveled with the circus, and cut timber (“Fast Facts”). When he started his career as a boxer he fought under the name “Kid Blackie” (“Biography”). He won the heavy weight championship by knocking out Jess Willard in 1919 (Smith). He kept this title until September 23, 1926 (“Fast Facts”). By the time he retired his record was 60-7-8. Fifty of his sixty wins were knockouts (“Biography”). Dempsey died on May 31, 1983 at the age of
eighty-seven. He is buried at the Southampton Cemetery in New York. The Ring Magazine, in 2003, named Dempsey the seventh best puncher in the history of boxing (“Fast Facts”).
Jack Dempsey was best known for his intriguing knockouts and his fists of steel (“Biography”). In his fight against Jess Willard, former champion, Dempsey knocked him down seven times within three minutes (Smith). This was the boxing match that began Dempsey’s reign as heavy weight champion of the world (Hadden 161). After the fight he earned the nick na...
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... and that number increased to five hundred and fifty by 1923. Dempsey’s boxing matches had certainly made a huge difference and turned people onto radio. Now people could listen to the latest weather updates as well as listen to their favorite comedies (“Dempsey vs. Carpentier”). All of the modern technology for communication that we have today, started from a small radio transmitter and a big fight.
As one can well tell, Jack Dempsey was certainly a positive influence in the 1920’s. He fought with all of his heart and this attracted many people to the sport of boxing and provided great entertainment. In addition, his involvement increased the popularity of public radio. His personality made him an extremely popular man and one that was adored by many. The memory of his character and his contributions to American history will live on for generations to come.