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Eugene V. Cooksey scrapbook on boxer Joe Louis

Identifier: aarl91-004

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.


  • 1938-1939


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.

Historical Sketch

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.


3.0 v.




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.


This collection was donated by James Hiram Malone in 1995.
Inventory of the Eugene V. Cookey Scrapbooks on Boxer Joe Louis aarl91-004 aarl91-004
Finding aid prepared by Finding aid prepared by Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture and History
2004 September 15
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Auburn Avenue Research Library on African-American Culture and History Repository

101 Auburn Avenue NE
Atlanta GA 30303