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This black and white photograph shows Jess Willard (1888-1968). Willard a native of Pottawatomie County, Kansas, became the world heavyweight boxing champion on April 5, 1915, when he defeated defending champion Jack Johnson in a twenty-six round match in Havana, Cuba. The "Pottawatomie Giant" as Willard was called, had a career of twenty-five wins but was unable to defend his title to challenger Jack Dempsey on July 4, 1919 in Toledo, Ohio. After the loss, Willard's boxing career came to a close and he pursued a new profession in movies and vaudeville shows. On December 15, 1968, Willard died at the age of 86 in Los Angeles, California.

Date: Between 1910s and 1920s

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Item Number: 216467
Call Number: B Willard, Jess *2
KSHS Identifier: DaRT ID: 216467

Jess Willard Willard, Jess Street Scene, St. Marys, Kansas Jess Willard's boxing shorts

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