Eugene V. Cooksey scrapbook on boxer Joe Louis
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Eugene V. Cooksey scrapbook on boxer Joe Louis

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Auburn Avenue Research Library
Creator: Cooksey, Eugene V.
Title: Eugene V. Cooksey scrapbook on boxer Joe Louis
Dates: 1938-1939
Quantity: 3.0 v.
Abstract:The collection contains three scrapbooks that include photographs of Joe Louis in boxing rings, and with friends and family, as well as newspaper clippings of Joe Louis and other notable African American men and women.
Identification: aarl91-004

Biographical/Historical Note

He was born Joseph Louis Barrow in the Buckalew Mountain region of Alabama, near Lafayette in Chambers County, in 1914. Louis moved to Detroit as a small boy. At age 16 he joined the boxing club and began training for amateur bouts.

In his first amateur bout, in the Fall of 1932, Louis was badly overmatched with a veteran boxer by the name of Johnny Miler. During that fight he took a bad pounding and was knocked down seven times in the first two rounds, but showed his courage by rising each time to finish the three-round bout on his feet. More determined than ever, he resumed training, working harder and learning rapidly. He knocked out his opponents in his next three fights, and he became Detroit's light heavyweight Golden Gloves champion in 1932. In his two years as amateur, he won 50 out of 59 bouts before turning professional in 1934.

In his first professional fight, on July 4, 1934, in Chicago, Louis knocked out Jack Kracken in the first round, earning $59. In September of 1935, in Yankee Stadium; before 90,000 people, Louis restored boxing to its heyday of the million-dollar-gate, and earned $240,000, in beating Max Bare.

After defeating a number of other challengers, he was given a title fight with Jim Braddock on June 22, 1937. He knocked out Braddock in the eighth round and began the long championship reign that was to see him defending his crown as often as six times in six months.

Joe Louis held the world heavyweight boxing championship longer (12 years), and defended it more often (25 times), than anyone else. He rescued boxing from the "hands of scandals", such as fighting a crooked (fixed) bout, bragging, or boasting, and he decided that it was best to 'fight clean and live clean'. He made it easier for blacks to break into major league Sports, and did much to improve relations between the races.

One of Louis' greatest fights was his 1941 thirteenth-round-knockout of Billy Conn. After wining a disputed decision over Joe Walcott in 1947, Louis knocked out the Jersey challenger six months later, and then went into retirement. Joe Louis died April 12, 1981, at the age of 67.

Scope and Content Note

There are three (3) scrapbooks of the Joe Louis collection. They include newspaper clippings and photographs of Mr. Joe Louis in various boxing rings, at social gatherings, with friends and family members.

About 95% of this collection is mounted on pieces of cardboard sheets, back and front, that means, on both sides of each cardboard sheet. Besides the pictures and newspaper articles about Mr. Joe Louis, there are also very valuable and important articles about other notable African American men and women of early years. There are stories about their struggles and accomplishments. Please view both sides of cardboard sheets, for clipping stories might be of interest to you.

Index Terms

African American boxers--United States--History--20th century.
Clippings (information artifacts)
Louis, Joe, 1914-1981

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Item, Eugene V. Cooksey scrapbooks on boxer Joe Louis, Archives Division, Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture and History, Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System.


This collection was donated by James Hiram Malone in 1995.


Restrictions on Use

There are no restrictions on research use of this collection.

Copyright Restrictions

Prior permission from the Research Library must be obtained in writing before any portion of this collection can be published or reproduced.

Related Material

Eugene V. Cooksey Scrapbook on the Nation of Islam

Container List




11Newspaper Clippings/photographs, 1938
Newspapers: The Chicago Defender/The Pittsburgh Courier - 1938.
Harrington Defends Joe; Describes flight of former champs from strongest rivals
"Trail's End" for another Louis Joe: Heavyweight championship fight between Joe Louis and Nathan Mann
Joe Must Have His Music: Joe playing music on his "music box"
2Newspaper Clippings/photographs, 1938
1 black & white picture = an unidentified woman
Governor Frank Murphy signs Mich. civil rights Bill
"His memory lives again" = Col. Charles Young
"Lily-White Navy" = railroading of Negro Cadet James L. Johnson
John Henry Lewis, light heavyweight champion of the world
3Newspaper Clippings/photographs, 1938
Seek dismissal of principal who Jim-Crowed pupils
Meharry professor wins Doctorate in Chemistry = First Negro student to be given high degree at Illinois in last 20 years
Crime's best friend - drugs
"Let's dispose of case" urges white press of Alabama
A World of advice from Hugh Bradley
4Stop "Running After Strange Gods"..
5The story of Mr. John C. Claybrook - Saturday, March 5, 1938. "An outstanding business man of his race", March 5,1938
6Youngsters go wild over their Jesse - Pictured Jesse Owens and wife. Back page = the family of Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia
7Newspaper Clippings/photographs, 1938
Insulted girl killed "Friend"; Now he must die
Way Back When = Al Monroe and Joe Louis at the pool table
Cop Kills Man After Louis Celebration
Abducted white woman rules 6,000 Africans
The Big Fight - Nathan Mann and Joe Louis shaking hands before the fight
8Newspaper Clippings/photographs, 1938
Joe Louis is Main guy in new file "This Is The Army"
Joe is pictured with a youngster, Ford Gibson
Joe Louis and joe DeMaggio
Ms. Ethel Waters and husband Eddie Mallory - band leader
Girl student outwits prejudiced principal
Members of Black Coast Guard to be replaced by whites
Joe Louis plays Santa to 15,000 Detroit kiddies
9Newspaper Clippings/photographs, 1938
Detroit's fastest growing hospital
Joe Louis with Louie Armstrong's horn, ready to blow it
Joe taking friends for a wheelbarrow ride
Picture of and x-slave woman, 116 years old
Dr. George Washington Carver and Henry Ford
10Newspaper Clippings/photographs, 1938
Joe with wife, Marva Trotter
Joe wins world's championship from Gentleman Jim Braddock
Joe is being interviewed by reporter Mike Jacobs after his defeat by Max Schmeling
Photo clippings: Joe meets Ms. Dorothy Darby, parachute jumper; with Mickey "Cochrane, manager of the world championship Detroit Tigers and others
11Newspaper Clippings/photographs, 1938
Bill Robinson selects white girl (Shirley Temple) as dancing partner in latest film
From Joe's wife Marva: "We're still madly in love;" "I'll always love Joe."
Disciples os Emperor Haile Selassie, Emperor of Ethiopia
Graduates of Wiley College, marshall Taxes
The Louisville flood refugees
"A new king (Joe Louis) is crowned while the old (Braddock) sleeps
12Newspaper Clippings/photographs, 1938
Pictured Jesse Owens and Miss Helen Stephens
Johnny Woodruff, Pittsburgh's 800-meter Olympic winner
Refugees of the Portsmouth flood
Joe Louis training camp
Joe visits army friend
132 Programs - World Championship Fight, ... Joe Louis, Heavyweight Champion, Detroit; ... Bob Pastor, Challenger, New Jersey, Wed. 09/20/39
14Newspaper Clippings/photographs, 1938
Three occupants of the British Throne within a year
Next of King's farewell to his empire: Sorrowful hush falls over vast British Empire as Edward slips off quietly into exile
King refuses Wally's plea to forego plans
Duke awaits hint to bring Wally 'home'