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Jack DempseyJack Dempsey

(William Harrison Dempsey)

Born June 24, 1895 – Died May 31, 1983

Jack Dempsey first started boxing professionally in 1914.  He first started boxing under the name of "Kid Blacky" and later boxed under the name of the "Manassa Mauler" after his home town of Manassa, Colorado.  Throughout the 1920’s and 1930’s he was extremely popular and is probably one of the most popular boxing champions of all times.  He knocked out Jess Willard in 1919 to win the heavyweight boxing title.  He lost the heavyweight boxing titles in 1926 to Gene Tunney.  He lost again in his second fight with Gene Tunney because of a long count.  He knocked Tunney down in the seventh round but because he did not go to a neutral corner immediately the referee delayed the count.  Tunney got up at the count of nine and went on to win the bout on a decision.  He retired from boxing afterwards.

During World War II Dempsey joined New York State National Guard and was given a commission as a first lieutenant.  He resigned that commission to accept a commission as a lieutenant in the Coast Guard Reserve.  He reported for active duty on 12 June 1942 at Coast Guard Training Station, Manhattan Beach, Brooklyn, New York, where he was assigned as "Director of Physical Education."  He also made many personal appearances at fights, camps, hospitals and War Bond drives.  He was promoted to lieutenant  commander (temporary) in December 1942 and commander (temporary) in March of 1944.  In 1944 he was assigned to the transport USS Wakefield.  In 1945 he was on the attack transport USS Arthur Middleton for the invasion of Okinawa.  In July of 1945 he assigned to the Commander, 11th Naval District for assignment to Military Morale Duty.  He was released from active duty in September 1945.  

He was given an honorable discharge from the Coast Guard Reserve in 1952.

Jack Dempsey


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Last Modified 11/17/2014