May 25, 1897 New York New York County (Manhattan) New York, USA
Nov. 7, 1978 Greenwich Fairfield County Connecticut, USA
Professional Boxer. The Heavyweight Champion of the World from 1926 to 1928, he was born in Greenwich Village. He learned to fight on the streets and also joined the Greenwich Village Athletic Club. He turned pro in 1915 but when World War I broke out he enlisted in the Marines. He continued to box in the Marines eventually earning the Light Heavyweight Championship of the American Expeditionary Forces. Upon returning from France he campaigned as a Light Heavyweight, taking on Soldier Jones, Battling Levinsky, and Jack Burke. Gene Tunney then fought 5 savage fights with Harry Greb, a formidable opponent, with whom he fought bruising battles in which Tunney won 2, lost 1 and had 2 no decisions. He fought a few more times as a Light Heavyweight then set his sights on the Heavyweights. After defeating Tommy Gibbons and Georges Carpentier he got a shot at Heavyweight Champion Jack Dempsey on September 23, 1926. Tunney studied Dempsey’s style very closely and even sparred with some of his past opponents. Throughout the bout, he boxed superbly moving side to side and throwing combinations and was crowned the new Champion by decision. Jack Dempsey demanded a rematch and got one on September 22, 1927 at Chicago’s Soldier Field. Gene Tunney was outboxing Dempsey yet again but got dropped in the 7th round. In one of boxing's most controversial moments, Dempsey instinctively hovered over Tunney waiting to hit him as soon as he rose. But a new rule had been adopted that if a fighter scores a knockdown he must go to a neutral corner. Referee Dave Barry spent several seconds getting Dempsey to a neutral corner then started the count. Gene Tunney was down for an estimated 14 seconds before he rose and went on to win the fight by decision, and the 'long count' became boxing lore. He would defend his title only once more against Tom Heeney with an 11th round knockout. He retired after the Heeney fight with a record of 65-1-1 with 47 knockouts. After retirement, he had a stint in the Navy in World War II, then returned home and became a successful businessman. In 1990, 12 years after his death, he was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame.
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God bless you throughout Spring, the Season in which Life is eternally renewed. Rest in Peace. -
Rick Added: Mar. 31, 2016
God bless you on St Patrick's Day (early). Rest in Peace. -
Rick Added: Mar. 7, 2016
God bless you throughout the 2015 Yuletide Season. Blessed is He would gave you the heart, skill and determination of a Champion. Merry Christmas (early)! Rest in Peace, Champ. -
Rick Added: Dec. 19, 2015