Best Known For
At the height of his career, boxer Rubin Carter was twice wrongly convicted of a triple murder and was imprisoned for nearly two decades.
Think you know about Biography?
Answer questions and see how you rank against other players.Play Now
Beginning in 1980, Carter developed a relationship with Lesra Martin, a teenager from a Brooklyn ghetto who had read his autobiography and initiated a correspondence. Martin was living with a group of Canadians who had formed an entrepreneurial commune and had taken on the responsibilities for his education. Before long, Martin's benefactors, most notably Sam Chaiton, Terry Swinton, and Lisa Peters,
developed a strong bond with Carter and began to work for his release.
Their efforts intensified after the summer of 1983, when they began to work in New York with Carter's legal defense team, including lawyers Myron Beldock and Lewis Steel and constitutional scholar Leon Friedman, to seek a writ of habeas corpus from U.S. District Court Judge H. Lee Sarokin.
On November 7, 1985, Sarokin handed down his decision to free Carter, stating that "The extensive record clearly demonstrates that [the] petitioners' convictions were predicated upon an appeal to racism rather than reason, and concealment rather than disclosure." The state continued to appeal Sarokin's decision -- all the way to the United States Supreme Court -- until February 1988, when a Passaic County (NJ) state judge formally dismissed the 1966 indictments of Carter and Artis and finally ended the 22-year long saga.
Upon his release, Carter moved to Toronto, Ontario, Canada, into the home of the group that had worked to free him. He worked with Chaiton and Swinton on a book, Lazarus and the Hurricane: The Untold Story of the Freeing of Rubin "Hurricane" Carter, published in 1991. He and Peters were married, but the couple separated when Carter moved out of the commune.
The former prizefighter, who was given an honorary championship title belt in 1993 by the World Boxing Council, now serves as director of the Association in Defense of the Wrongfully Convicted, headquartered in his house in Toronto. He also serves as a member of the board of directors of the Southern Center for Human Rights in Atlanta and the Alliance for Prison Justice in Boston.
In 1999, widespread interest in the story of Rubin Carter was revived with a major motion picture, The Hurricane, directed by Norman Jewison and starring Denzel Washington. The movie was largely based on Carter's 1974 autobiography and Chaiton and Swinton's 1991 book, which was re-released in late 1999. In 2000, James S. Hirsch published a new authorized biography, Hurricane: The Miraculous Journey of Rubin Carter.
© 2013 A+E Networks. All rights reserved.
profile name: Rubin Carter 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
They've sprinted, served, batted, slam-dunked and TKO'd their way into sports history. Sprinter Jesse Owens's Olympic triumphs put Hitler to shame. Basketball star Michael Jordan taught kids that they could fly. Gymnast Gabby Douglas showed that champions can come in pint-size packages, and Tiger Woods brought the game of golf to another level. Explore biographies of famous black athletes who broke records and barriers and, ultimately, captured our imaginations.
Famous Black Athletes 147 people in this group
Famous Taureans 514 people in this group
Find out more about some of the world's boxing legends, including Muhammad Ali, Rubin Carter, Sugar Ray Leonard, Jake LaMotta, Joe Frazier and Vincent Gigante. Examine the lives of some of the most talented boxers to step foot in the ring in recent years, including Laila Ali, Mike Tyson, Claressa Shields and Floyd Mayweather. Find all of this, and more, in Biography.com's famous boxers group.
Famous Boxers 39 people in this group