Joe Louis

Joseph Louis Barrow (1914-1981),better known as Joe Louis,and nicknamed the Brown Bomber,was an American professional boxer and the World Heavyweight Champion from 1937 to 1949. He is considered to be one of the greatest heavyweights of all time.

Medic has obtained the complete military records of Joe Louis from the National Archives. The categories are: Service Records 1; Service Records 2; Service Records 3; Service Records 4; Service Records 5; Correspondence 1; Correspondence 2; Correspondence 3; Correspondence 4; Correspondence 5; Correspondence 6; Awards; Newspaper Clippings; Reference Correspondence.

Medic has obtained the FBI files for Joe Louis. They are categorized as: File 1; File 2.

Louis was an honest,hardworking fighter at a time when the sport was dominated by organized crime. His championship reign lasted from 1937 to 1949,during which he participated in twenty-six championship fights. He held the world heavyweight boxing title longer than anyone else in history.

Louis was at the height of his fame when he was drafted into the Army in 1942. He served with the Special Services Division and was assigned to an “entertainment and interracial relations morale mission.” He toured Army camps in the United States,Europe, and North Africa,entertaining two million soldiers with boxing exhibitions. His enlistment ended in 1945.

An October 1944 memorandum recommends Louis for the Legion of Merit. The recommending officer states that Louis boxed so frequently that he suffered fist injuries that endangered his boxing future,”yet he risked all willingly rather than disappoint soldiers who frantically stormed by thousands to the scene of his exhibitions.” He states that Louis visited hospitals to give comfort to the sick and wounded and describes how “dying soldiers were given an extra ‘lift’ from a personal chat with Louis.” In his praise,the officer notes that Louis deserves the award “because his unusual devotion to duty,interest,initiative,willingness,efforts,and frequent disregard of jeopardizing his valuable boxing career were far beyond that which was reasonably expected or demanded of him.

After his legendary boxing career Joe Louis fell on hard times. A Wikipedia profile of the life of Joe Louis is here.