May 13, 1914
Joe Louis, nicknamed the “Brown Bomber,” was born near LaFayette. Twelve years later, the family moved to Detroit and Louis began boxing. Louis held the world heavyweight boxing title for nearly 12 years, from 1937 to 1948, and made a division record 25 successful title defenses. His matches in 1936 and 1938 against Max Schmeling of Germany were seen by many as heroic fights between the free world and Nazi forces. Following the end of his boxing career, Louis worked as a referee and a casino greeter. He died in 1981 of cardiac arrest at the age of 67.
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