Best Known For
Jack Johnson, nicknamed "the Galveston Giant," was the first African American world heavyweight boxing champion.
Think you know about Biography?
Answer questions and see how you rank against other players.Play Now
Johnson continued to fight for another 12 years, hanging up his gloves for good at the age of 50.
As Johnson became a bigger name in the sport of boxing, he also became a bigger target for a white America that longed to see him ruined. For his part, Johnson loved to brandish his wealth and his disdain for racial rules.
He dated white women, drove lavish cars and spent money freely. But trouble was always lurking. In 1912, he was convicted of violating the Mann Act for bringing his white girlfriend across state lines before their marriage. Sentenced to prison, he fled to Europe, remaining there as a fugitive for seven years. He returned to the United States in 1920 and ultimately served out his sentence.
His life came to an unfortunate end on June 10, 1946 when he died in an automobile accident in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Since his death, Johnson's life and career have undergone a major rehabilitation. His alleged crimes are now seen as the result of racial bias in law enforcement. In 1990 he was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame and his life was the subject of the acclaimed Ken Burns’ documentary Unforgivable Blackness.
© 2013 A+E Networks. All rights reserved.
profile name: Jack Johnson profile occupation:
Sign in with Facebook to see how you and your friends are connected to famous icons.
Your Friends' Connections
Included In These Groups
Automobile Accident Victims 20 people in this group
Who was the first African-American boxing champ? How about World Cycling champ? Who was the first African-American to win an Olympic gold medal? What year did Jackie Robinson break baseball's color barrier? Who was Althea Gibson and what first did she achieve? Detail our collection of pioneering African-American athletes for the answers to these and many more questions, and explore our African-American Firsts: Athletes photos gallery.
African-American Firsts: Athletes 16 people in this group
Famous Arians 534 people in this group