When I was a young fellow I was knocked down plenty. I wanted to stay down, but I couldn't. I had to collect the two dollars for winning or go hungry. I had to get up. I was one of those hungry fighters. You could have hit me on the chin with a sledgehammer for five dollars. When you haven't eaten for two days you'll understand.
Born in Manassa, Colorado on June 24th, 1895, Bro. Dempsy was a heavyweight champion of the world and one of the richest athletes of his time. Raised in poverty, early in life Bro. Dempsy would walk into bars stating "I can't sing and I can't dance, but I can lick any SOB in the house.” Bets were made, words were had, and although records of these events are sparse at best, it is said Bro. Dempsy rarely went home defeated.
In 1919, Bro. Dempsey defeated Jess Willard to become World Heavyweight Champion. Dempsey knocked Willard down in the first round, wining the fight, but the controversy surrounding it haunted him for the rest of his career.
Bro. Dempsey defended his World Heavyweight Champion title several times. One of the most anticipated fights was against Georges Carpentier. The fight took place in New Jersey and was the first million-dollar gate in boxing history. It was also the first national radio broadcast.
In 1926, Bro. Dempsey lost his tittle to Gene Tunney. After the defeat he told his wife "Honey, I forgot to duck."
Bro. Dempsey passed away on May 31st, 1983, in New York City. His last words to his wife were, "Don't worry honey, I'm too mean to die" just before passing away from heart failure.
Bro. Dempsey was a member of Kenwood Lodge #800 in Chicago, Illinois.