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William Harrison "Jack" Dempsey

Also Known As: "Jack Dempsey", "Manassa Mauler"
Birthplace: Manassa, Conejos, Colorado, United States
Death: May 31, 1983 (87)
New York, New York, United States
Place of Burial: Southampton, New York
Immediate Family:

Son of Hyrum Dempsey and Mary Cecilia Dempsey
Husband of Deanna Dempsey
Ex-husband of Estelle Taylor; Hannah Williams and Maxine Cates
Father of Joan Hannah Mc Neal and Barbara Judith Leonard
Brother of Joseph Dempsey; Don Bernard Dempsey; Effie Barrow; Florence Stannard; Estelle Dempsey and 5 others

Occupation: World Heavyweight Champion Boxer, Resturant Owner
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Jack Dempsey

William Harrison "Jack" Dempsey (June 24, 1895 – May 31, 1983), known as the The Manassa Mauler, was an American professional boxer. He was a cultural icon of the 1920s. He held the World Heavyweight Championship from 1919 to 1926. Dempsey's aggressive style and exceptional punching power made him one of the most popular boxers in history.

Dempsey was born in Manassa, Colorado and grew up in Colorado, West Virginia, and Utah, in a poor family. His parents were Mary Celia (née Smoot) and Hiram Dempsey, and his ancestry included Irish, Cherokee, and a Jewish paternal great-great-grandmother. Both parents became Mormon converts, and Jack was baptized on August 2, 1903, after he reached the required age of accountability.

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.

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Jack Dempsey's Timeline

June 24, 1895
Manassa, Conejos, Colorado, United States
August 4, 1934
New York, New York, United States
August 28, 1936
New York, New York, United States