Joseph Barrow was born in Chambers County, Alabama back in 1914 to Munroe and Lillie. At birth he weighed a whopping 11 pounds. He suffered from a speech impediment and spoke very little as a child until the age of six. His father was committed to a mental institution in 1916. His mother married Pat Brooks in 1920.
In 1926, he moved to Detroit, Michigan, he worked part time at the River Rough Plant. When the Great Depression hit he spent a lot of time at a local youth recreation center at 637 Brewster Street in Detroit.
At the age of 17 in 1932, he made his debut boxing fight. In 1933, he won the Detroit-area Golden Gloves Novice Division. In 1934, he won the light heavyweight United States Amateur Champion National AAU tournament in St. Louis, Missouri. During his boxing career he had a record of 50-4, with 43 knockouts.
If you haven’t figured it out by now how about I give you his middle name of Louis. Barely able to write he just signed his name as Joe Louis. He reigned as the world heavyweight champion for 1937 until his retirement in 1949. He holds the longest single reign as champion of any boxer in history. He is also regarded as the first person of African-American descent to achieve the status of a nationwide hero within the United States.
NW Arkansas, come for a visit, stay for a lifetime.