The Photo Request has been fulfilled.

Suggest Edits
 Jack Johnson

Photo added by Koop Kuper

Jack Johnson

Professional Boxer, Civil Rights Figure. He was the first African-American to hold the heavyweight boxing championship in the world. Until his fight with Tommy Burns, discrimination limited Johnson's opportunities and purses. When he became champion, a hue and cry for a "Great White Hope" produced numerous opponents. At the height of his career Johnson was excoriated by the press for having twice married white women and he further offended white supremacists by knocking out former champion James J. Jeffries, who was induced to come out of retirement as a "Great White Hope". In connection with one of marriage. He was sentenced to a year in prison and was released on bond, pending appeal. Disguised as a member of a blackball team, he fled to Canada, made his way to Europe and was a fugitive for seven years. He defended the championship three times in Paris before agreeing to fight Jess Willard in Cuba. Some observers thought that Johnson, mistakenly believing that the charge against him would be dropped if he yielded the championship to a white man, deliberately lost to Willard. From 1897 to 1928, Johnson had 114 bouts, winning 80, 45 by knockouts. In 1920 Johnson surrendered to U.S. marshals and served his sentence, fighting in several bouts within the federal prison at Leavenworth,Kan. After his release he fought occasionally and appeared in vaudeville and carnival acts,appearing finally with a trained flea act. He wrote two books of memoirs, Mes Combats(in French,1914) and Jack Johnson in the Ring and Out 1927, reprinted 1975).

Family Members





How famous was Jack Johnson?

Current rating:

161 votes

to cast your vote.

  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Cinnamonntoast4
  • Added: 25 Jan 2002
  • Find A Grave Memorial 6125607
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Jack Johnson (31 Mar 1878–10 Jun 1946), Find A Grave Memorial no. 6125607, citing Graceland Cemetery, Chicago, Cook County, Illinois, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .