Joe Louis: 50 Years an American Hero

Joe Louis Barrow, Author, Barbara Munder, Author
Joe Louis Barrow, Author, Barbara Munder, Author McGraw-Hill Companies $18.95 (270p) ISBN 978-0-07-003955-1
Reviewed on: 05/01/1990
Release date: 05/01/1990
``Before Jackie Robinson, there was Joe Louis,'' observes one commentator quoted here, and the important contribution of the longtime heavyweight champion to building racial pride in American blacks is given emphasis in this biography by the boxer's son and a Business Week executive. Every victory by the ``Brown Bomber,'' note the authors, was greeted by blacks as a victory for their race. And, with the passage of time, Louis's quiet demeanor and modest pride in his accomplishments won white America's esteem, and he became one of the most popular athletes of his time. In contrast to his success in the ring, however, were the failures in his private life: compulsive spending and womanizing caused troubles and necessitated that Louis continue fighting long after his talent was gone. He died in 1981 at the age of 66. The text is supplemented by recollections of relatives, friends, sportswriters and politicians, adding many perspectives to those of the authors. Photos not seen by PW. (September)
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