Jack Dempsey (Dictionary of World Biography: Twentieth Century)
Article abstract: Dempsey was one of the greatest sports personalities of the so-called Golden Age of Sports (the 1920’s) and the first boxer to make major contributions to sporting life in the United States.
William Harrison “Jack” Dempsey, one of eleven children, was born on June 24, 1895, in Manassa, Colorado, of Indian, Irish, and Scottish ancestry. The son of Hyrum and Celia Dempsey, he became accustomed to a nomadic existence early in life, a primary requisite for a boxing career. Hyrum had converted to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and had moved to Manassa in 1880 because it was a center of Mormon life. Hyrum, however, never was a successful businessman and was regarded as something of a dreamer. The family began a succession of moves from Manassa when Jack was four or five years old; the longest stay was at a ranch near Montrose, Colorado, for two years.
Jack permanently left his family in 1911, when they were living in Lakeview, Utah, and he was sixteen years old. He had already been attracted to the sport which made him famous, for he had begun to fight at about ten years of age, and it had become a way of life. This was a type of boxing in which there were no holds barred, and the biggest and toughest competitors usually won. As a preventative against cuts (which might interfere with his vision and hence his ability to hit and block blows), the budding boxing...
(The entire section is 2656 words.)
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