JOE "THE BROWN BOMBER" LOUIS - COLLECTION CIRCA 1963 - HFSID 264480
"A SALUTE TO JOE LOUIS" IN NOTES, SIGNATURES AND LETTERS BY ROCKY MARCIANO, SUGAR RAY ROBINSON, GENE TUNNEY, JOHN KLUGE, RUBY GOLDSTEIN, AND OTHERS AT THE 1963 PREMIERE OF THE DOCUMENTARY, IN THIS CORNER: JOE LOUIS. Spiral Binder, 36 pages, 13x14¼.
Sale Price $1,530.00
"A SALUTE TO JOE LOUIS" IN NOTES, SIGNATURES AND LETTERS BY ROCKY MARCIANO, SUGAR RAY ROBINSON, GENE TUNNEY, JOHN KLUGE, RUBY GOLDSTEIN, AND OTHERS AT THE 1963 PREMIERE OF THE DOCUMENTARY, IN THIS CORNER: JOE LOUIS.
Spiral Binder, 36 pages, 13x14¼. Imprinted on the cover: "A SALUTE TO JOE LOUIS/Monday, July 15, 1963/Metropolitan Broadcasting Television". On July 15, 1963, a testimonial dinner honored former World Heavyweight Champion Joe Louis. A 105-minute documentary from Metropolitan Broadcasting Television (WNEW), In This Corner: Joe Louis [not included] premiered at the dinner. Joe Louis and Allyn Edwards narrated the documentary profiling Louis's life and times. There are interviews with Billy Conn, James Braddock, Tony Galento, Jersey Joe Walcott, Rocky Marciano, trainer Mannie Seamon, boxing expert Nat Fleischer, Joe's sister Eulalia Louis and his third wife, Rose Louis.
This collection from the event includes 8 TLsS, 1 ALS, 19 pages of signatures, 6 unsigned telegrams, 7 unsigned photos and 4 printed program pages. Each page is protected by a removable plastic sheet protector. There are 20 additional blank pages, not counted in the total above, at the end of the book.
Includes: 1) ROCKY MARCIANO. Inscribed signature: "Joe/'a real man'/Rocky Marciano", 1 page, 11½x14. Binder holes at right edge. One signature on verso shows through lightly. Otherwise, fine condition. 2) SUGAR RAY ROBINSON. Typed Letter signed: "Sugar Ray Robinson", 1 page, 8¼x11. New York, N.Y., 1963 June 28. On personal letterhead to Bennett Korn, President, Metropolitan Broadcasting Co., New York, N.Y. (organizer of the event). In part: "Although I will not be there in body, I will be there in the spirit of all those who love and honor him." Mounting adhesive on verso shows through lightly. Otherwise, fine condition. 3) GENE TUNNEY. Typed Letter signed: "Gene Tunney", 1 page, 7¼x10½. New York, N.Y., 1963 June 14. On personal letterhead to Korn. In part: "…I am delighted to add my name as a member of the General Committee [for the testimonial]." Lightly soiled. Mounting adhesive on verso shows through lightly. Otherwise, fine condition.
4) ANTHONY J. CELEBREZZE. Typed Letter signed: "Anthony J. Celebrezze" as U.S. Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare, 1p, 6½x9. Washington, D.C., 1963 June 27. On official letterhead to Korn. In part: "I shall be pleased to serve as a member of the General Committee." Mounting adhesive shows through lightly. Otherwise, fine condition. 5) HARRISON WILLIAMS. Typed Letter signed: "Harrison Williams" as U.S. Senator from New Jersey, 1p, 8x10½. Washington, D.C., 1963 June 21. On Senate letterhead to Korn. Mounting adhesive on verso shows through. Otherwise, fine condition. 6) JOHN DEMPSEY. Typed Letter signed: "John Dempsey" as Governor of Connecticut, 1p, 8½x11. Hartford, Connecticut, 1963 June 17. On official letterhead to Korn. Mounting adhesive on verso shows through lightly. Otherwise, fine condition. 7) RICHARD J. HUGHES. Typed Letter signed: "Richard J. Hughes" as Governor of New Jersey, 1p, 8½x11. Trenton, N.J., 1963 July 15. No addressee. In part: "…I speak for all of the citizens of our State in commending him for his outstanding achievements in the ring and for the splendid example which he has set for his fellow citizens out of the ring." Lightly creased and soiled. Mounting adhesive on verso shows through lightly. 8) FRANCIS E. RIVERS. Typed Letter signed: "Francis E. Rivers" as Civil Court Judge, City of New York, 1p, 5½x8½. New York, N.Y., 1963 June 11. On official letterhead to Korn. Mounting adhesive on verso shows through. Otherwise, fine condition.
9) TOOTS SHOR. Autograph Letter signed: "Toots Shor", 1p, 11½x14. No place, 1963 July 11. In part: "You are the greatest champion I have ever known…." TONY GALENTO has added his signature: "Tony Galento". Beneath Galento: "Lots of Good Luck and Everything Else/N Scott". 10) Autograph Letter signed: "Dr. Thomas Goldsmith Jr." as Director of Research, DuMont Labs, 1p, 11½x14. No place, 1963 July 15. In full: "I built one of the first Television sets which picked you up." Lightly soiled. Binder holes at right edge. Signatures on verso show through faintly. Otherwise, fine condition. 12) Typed Letter signed: "Don Rogers" as Business as Financial Editor, "New York Herald Tribune", 1p, 8¼x11. New York, N.Y, 1963 July 9. On Tribune letterhead to Phil Cowan, Metropolitan Broadcasting. Mounting adhesive on verso shows through heavily 13) Autograph Letter signed: "Ed Lauter", 2p, 8x10. No place, no date. To Joe Louis. Vertical and horizontal folds. Otherwise, fine condition. Accompanied by autograph envelope signed: "Ed Lauter", 6x4, postmarked New York, N.Y, August 2, 1963. Lightly soiled. Ink forwarding address (unknown hand) in upper left.
OTHER SIGNATURES AND INSCRIPTIONS (more than one on each 8¼x14), many inscribed to Louis, include: 14) "In these times of great stress, great you stand in bold relief as a symbol of our age - John Kluge"; 15) "Pat Harrington Jr./Even my Dad could/lick ya!!"; 16) "'Bugs' Baer - too!"; 17) MYRNA LOY. "Myrna Loy"; 18) With deep affection and high/regard - Bennet H. Korn; 19) "To a great campaigner as well as a great fighter - with all/good wishes "Francis E Rivers" [See also TLS above]; 20) "To Joe,/The greatest of all - I might add/inspiration by you helped me become a/champion - Andy Stanfield/Olympic 200 Meter/52 & 56"; 21)"To Joe/my boyhood idol … Best/of everything/Art Rust/WWRL". 22) MICKEY WALKER. "Dear Joe: Here's wishing the Champ of all/Champs, Happy Days and Good Luck always/to you and yours/Your old pal/Mickey Walker"; 23) "You never let us down - Always/the champ -/Ned Irish"; 24)"Best wishes to the 'champion of/champs' -/Good luck!/Joe Black", 25) "How do you Salute a Friend/When your Soul can't speak/or your heart write/Billy Rowe", 26) "To Joe Louis/An outstanding champion a credit/to sports - a fine human being and/a great American/Louis J Lefkowitz", 27) RUBY GOLDSTEIN. "To Joe Louis/Best Wishes/From Ruby Goldstein".
Collection also includes 6 unsigned, congratulatory Western Union telegrams (each 6½x4½ and lightly soiled), including two from New York's U.S. Senators Jacob Javits and Kenneth Keating and famed sportswriter Jimmy Cannon. Collection also includes 7 unsigned photos (all b/w, 8x10 and in fine condition) of guests at the event, four of which include Joe Louis. U.N. Ambassador Adlai E. Stevenson is pictured with Joe Louis in one photo. Two copies each of two unsigned program pages from the event, one listing all members of the organizing committee, are also present.
JOE LOUIS (1914-1981), a sharecropper's son, followed up his Golden Glove amateur boxing title by turning professional in 1934. He won his first 27 fights, 23 by knockout. Then on June 19, 1936, he suffered his first defeat, a technical knockout in the twelfth round by German heavyweight fighter Max Schmeling. Although Louis captured the World Heavyweight Championship the following year, he declared that he would not consider himself a true champion until he had bested Schmeling. Louis and Schmeling met again on June 22, 1938, at Yankee Stadium, with the whole world listening. Although Schmeling was no Nazi, and indeed later became a close friend of Louis', the German fighter was touted by Hitler as a symbol of Aryan racial superiority. In the rematch, Louis knocked Schmeling down three times within the first two minutes, knocking him out the third time. This feat thrilled Americans, and especially the African-American community. The victory was viewed as nothing less than the triumph of democracy over the racist and totalitarian ideas of Nazism. Louis held the heavyweight championship continuously for twelve years (1937-1949), longer than any other fighter. He defended his title more times than any heavyweight champ. He retired - undefeated while champion - in 1949. However, financial pressures brought on by his legendary generosity forced him out of retirement, and he lost comeback attempts against Ezzard Charles (1950) and Rocky Marciano (1951). When Louis died in 1981, the rules were waived - Louis was a World War II vet but did not technically qualify - so that he could be buried with honors in Arlington National Cemetery.
ROCKY MARCIANO (1923-1969) won the world heavyweight boxing title in 1952, successfully defending it six times. The winner of 49 consecutive fights, 43 by knockout, Marciano knocked an aging Joe Louis out of the ring in their October 26, 1951 fight. SUGAR RAY ROBINSON (1921-1989) won the world welterweight boxing title in 1942, the middleweight crown in 1951. He fought 18 world champions before finally retiring in 1965, at age 44. GENE TUNNEY (1897-1978) was world heavyweight champion 1926-1928, twice defeating Jack Dempsey and successfully defending his title a third time before retiring.
ANTHONY J. CELEBREZZE (1910-1998) was Mayor of Cleveland (1952-1963) and Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare (1962-1965). HARRISON WILLIAMS (1919-2001) represented New Jersey in the U.S. House (1953-1957) and Senate (1959-1982). He resigned his seat after a criminal conviction in the "Abscam" scandal, an FBI sting operation. JOHN DEMPSEY (1915-1989), born in Ireland, was Governor of Connecticut (1961-1971). RICHARDE J. HUGHES (1909-1982) was Governor of New Jersey (1962-1970), later serving as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of New Jersey (1973-1981). FRANCIS E. RIVERS served in the New York State Assembly before assuming a judgeship.
BERNARD "TOOTS" SHOR (1910-1977), owner of the famed New York restaurant which still bears his name, was a friend of countless celebrities and, if you were an athlete, it was the place to be. TONY GALENTO (1910-1979) was a heavyweight fighter knocked out by Joe Louis in the fourth round of their 1939 title fight. Galento did have the rare satisfaction of knocking Louis down before the Brown Bomber put him away.
JOHN KLUGE (1914-2010) bought the remnants of the DuMont Television Network in 1958, and built it into a major entertainment network, Metromedia. In 1984 he sold his empire for $2 billion to Rupert Murdoch, who used it to build his Fox Network. Kluge remained in telecommunications, attaining a net worth of over $5 billion by the 1990s, with investments for which included ownership of the Harlem Globetrotters. Kluge was spectacularly philanthropic, endowing the John C. Kluge Center for scholarly studies at the Library of Congress and making huge grants to Columbia University (over half a billion dollars) and the University of Virginia. THOMAS GOLDSMITH was an electrical engineer who worked with Alan DuMont, the television pioneer who ran his own network in the late 1940s and early fifties. DON ROGERS was financial editor of the New York Herald Tribune, which rivaled the New York Times in prestige prior to its closure in 1966. Character actor ED LAUTER is a highly recognizable character actor with many TV and movie appearances on his resume. Comic actor PAT HARRINGTON JR. was building repairman Schroeder on the TV sitcom One Day at a Time (1975-1984). ARTHUR "BUGS" BAER (1886-1969) was a humor-oriented journalist and cartoonist. Actress MYRNA LOY (1905-1993) was a legendary film star who first appeared in silent films and reached the peak of her popularity in the 1930s and 1940s. She was frequently paired with William Powell, including their famous screen husband and wife team in The Thin Man films (1934 and after). Media executive BENNET KORN was a key organizer of this tribute to Joe Louis.
ANDY STANFIELD (1927-1985) was an AAU track and field champion who won a Gold Medal in the 200-meter at the 1952 Olympic Games, winning a silver in the same race in 1956. In 1951 he set the (then) world record of 20.7 seconds in the 220-yard event. ART RUST was a prominent African-American TV and radio sports announcer and journalist. MICKEY WALKER (1903-1981) was a heavyweight fighter knocked out by Max Schmelling in the eighth round of their 1932 fight. The next year he fought for the light heavyweight championship, losing to Slapsy Maxie Rosenbloom. NED IRISH (1905-1982) became basketball director of Madison Square Garden in 1934, where he promoted many well-attended college games. In 1946, he organized the New York Knicks in the new Basketball Association of American, the forerunner of the NBA. He has been called "the father of big-time basketball." JOE BLACK (1924-2002) began his baseball career in the Negro Leagues. As a Brooklyn Dodger, he won the National League's Rookie of the Year award in 1952, mainly as a relief pitcher, and that fall became the first black pitcher to win a Major League World Series game. BILLY ROWE, former Deputy Police Commissioner of New York City, was a business partner of Joe Louis. LOUIS J. LEFKOWITZ was Attorney General of the State of New York (1957-1978).
RUBY GOLDSTEIN (1907-1984) was a successful professional fighter from 1925-1937 before becoming a referee. His first heavyweight title fight was the first Joe Louis-Jersey Joe Walcott match. Goldstein scored the fight for Walcott, while the two judges scored the fight in Louis's favor. Many observers thought that Walcott had won. When Joe Louis was asked about Goldstein's scoring, he replied, "I know Ruby. He calls 'em like he sees 'em." Louis's comment helped build Goldstein's reputation and, from then on, he officiated at many important fights, including the first Zale-Graziano match and the Robinson-Maxim light heavyweight championship fight.
The typed letters have separated from the pages to which they were once affixed and could be reassembled or displayed separately. Unsigned photos and additional, unidentified signatures in the collection merit further research. A UNIQUE COLLECTION OF ITEMS HONORING THE LEGENDARY JOE LOUIS.
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