OCTOBER 24, 1988


Born Henry Jackson, Jr., December 12, 1912, in Columbus, Mississippi, of a Black sharecropper and supposedly Iroquois mother (though possibly Cherokee), his family moved to St. Louis, Missouri, in 1916.  As high school valedictorian, he sought college, but began boxing as Henry Armstrong in 1931.  By 1932, he was well-known and, by 1937, World Featherweight (FW) champ.  In 1938, he won his 27th straight bout by KO before taking World Welter & Lightweight belts–1st boxer to simultaneously hold 3 titles.  He barely lost his World Middleweight bid.  Henry retired in 1945–152 wins, 21 losses, 9 draws, 101 KOs.  Back in St. Louis, he was a Baptist minister, ran a Boys Club, taught boxing, and published Twenty Years of Poems, Moods, and Meditations.  Honors:  Fighter of the Year, The Ring magazine & Boxing Writers Assoc. (1937 & 1940); The Ring & Internat’l Boxing Halls of Fame; St. Louis Walk of Fame; The Ring’s 2nd greatest fighter & ESPN’s 3rd of its top 50 (2007).  He died in Los Angeles.

Sources:  Armstrong Family, "Biography of Henry Armstrong," Official Henry Armstrong website, 2009.  Retrieved 7/26/2020, 3593755200/https://web.archive.org/web/20090511003744/http://www.henryarmstrong.net/BIOGRAPHY.html James Ryan, "Boxer Henry Armstrong dead at 75," UPI, 10/25/1988.  Retrieved 7/26/2020, https://www.upi.com/Archives/1988/10/25/Boxer-Henry-Armstrong-dead-at-75/2193593755200/ “Henry Armstrong,” BoxRec.  Retrieved 7/26/2020, https://boxrec.com/en/proboxer/009018 Wikipedia
Photo:  Carl Van Vechten (1880-1964), 7/15/1937.  This image is available from the United States Library of Congress's Prints and Photographs division under the digital ID cph.3c14433.  Public Domain Worldwide:  This work is from the Carl Van Vechten Photographs collection at the Library of Congress. According to the library, there are no known copyright restrictions on the use of this work.  As the restrictions on this collection expired in 1986, the Library of Congress believes this image is in the public domain. 

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