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William Harrison "Jack" Dempsey was an American boxer, who was born in Manassa, Colorado on June 24th, 1895. His family was poor and moved around quite often so his father could find work. Dempsey dropped out of elementary school to help support the family and, by the age of 16, had left home. To earn money he went to bars and saloons challenging people to fights. He walked in stating "I can't sing and I can't dance, but I can lick any SOB in the house." Eventually nicknamed Kid Blackie, and then The Manassa Mauler, Dempsey competed as a boxer from 1914 to 1927, and reigned as the world heavyweight champion from 1919 to 1926. He was popular and in fact considered a cultural icon, appearing on the cover of Time Magazine in 1923, and many of his fights set financial and attendance records, including the first million-dollar gate. In tribute to his legacy and boxing career, a 2004 PBS documentary summarized "Dempsey's boxing style consisted of constantly bobbing and weaving. His attacks were furious and sustained. Behind it all was rage. His aggressive behavior prompted a rule that boxers had to retreat to a neutral corner and give opponents who had been knocked down a chance to get up." After retiring, he was considered both an entrepreneur and a philanthropist. On May 31, 1983, Dempsey died in New York City of heart failure at the age of 87.

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