Boxing champion Joe Louis visits: World War II week by week

Posted by David Middlecamp on November 4, 2013 

Sgt. Joe Louis toured the nation giving presentations on physical fitness during World War II. The photo was from the NEA.


From Page 2 of the Thursday Nov. 4, 1943, Telegram-Tribune:

Joe Louis—Sgt. Joe Louis, to be exact—will arrive in San Luis Obispo tomorrow morning, after staging an exhibition at Camp Roberts tonight.

The world's heavyweight champion is scheduled to appear at Camp San Luis Obispo field house tomorrow at 7 p.m. for a boxing demonstration and lecture. The local appearance is part of a nationwide tour of army camps, staged under direction of the war department in the interest of its physical fitness program.

Joe's old sparring partner, Sgt. George Nicholson, will provide the opposition in the exhibition here. Also in the party, and slated for a part in the program, are Sugar Ray Robinson and Jackie Wilson, two of the world's top-notch welterweights. Corporal Robert Payne, Joe's trainer, also will be on hand.

Capt. Carroll Fitzgerald of the war department's bureau of public relations, is in general charge of the tour, which has met with a tremendous response in eastern army camps.

Reports say that the heavyweight king now presents an excellent physical fitness lecture as well as a matchless demonstration of boxing.

Before Joe Louis entered the army, his lecturing experience was strictly absent, since he always preferred to "let his fists do the talkin'" as he put it.

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