“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Lansing in Ingham County, Michigan — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)

Joe Louis Barrow 1914-1981

Joe Louis Barrow 1914-1981 Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Rieske, May 25, 2017
1. Joe Louis Barrow 1914-1981 Marker
Joe Louis learned to box as a teenager at Detroitís Brewster Recreation Center. With power in both hands and great strength, Louis quickly rose through the amateur ranks and turned pro in 1934. He won the world heavyweight title in 1937 at the age of 23.

All Americans cheered Louisís 1938 knockout of German Max Schmeling. Two years earlier Schmeling had become a Nazi hero by defeating an ill-prepared Louis. During World War II, Louis assisted the Army in promoting the war effort, but he refused to appear before segregated audiences. Having defended his heavyweight title 25 times, he retired undefeated in 1949.
Erected 2007.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Sports. In addition, it is included in the Michigan Walk of Fame series list.
Location. 42° 44.085′ N, 84° 33.129′ W. Marker is in Lansing, Michigan, in Ingham County. Marker can be reached from North Washington Square, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is at
Joe Louis image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, December 12, 2017
2. Joe Louis
This 1946 portrait of Joseph Louis Barrow (May 13, 1914 – April 12, 1981) by Betsy Graves Reyneau hangs in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington DC.

“American boxing great Joe Louis began his pro career in 1934 and quickly eliminated a series of opponents with his devastating knockout punch. Widely expected to take the 1936 heavyweight title, Louis was stunned by his defeat at the hands of German champion Max Schmeling. When he reentered the ring against Schmeling in 1938, far more was at stake than a world heavyweight crown. Schmeling came to the contest as Adolf Hitler's champion of Aryan supremacy, while Louis, the first African American boxer to win the enthusiastic support of black and white Americans alike, was embraced as democracy's standardbearer. Louis struck like lightning when the fight began. Staggering Schmeling with a sequence of tremendous blows, Louis took only 124 seconds to claim one of the sweetest victories in boxing history. As reporter Heywood Broun rightly observed, Louis had Ďexploded the Nordic myth with a boxing glove.í” — National Portrait Gallery
or near this postal address: 200 block of North Washington Square – east side, Lansing MI 48933, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Gordie Howe b. 1928 (within shouting distance of this marker); Eero Saarinen 1910-1961 (within shouting distance of this marker); Fannie Richards 1840-1922 (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Herbert Henry Dow 1866-1930 (about 300 feet away); Walter Reuther 1907-1970 (about 400 feet away); Muzyad Yahkoob “Danny Thomas” 1914-1991 (about 400 feet away); Elijah McCoy 1843-1929 (about 400 feet away); William Crapo “Billy” Durant 1861-1947 (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Lansing.
Also see . . .
1. Michigan Walk of Fame - Wikipedia. (Submitted on May 27, 2017, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland.)
2. Joe Louis, from Wikipedia. (Submitted on June 15, 2017, by Bill Rieske of Lansing, Michigan.)
Credits. This page was last revised on December 15, 2017. It was originally submitted on May 25, 2017, by Bill Rieske of Lansing, Michigan. This page has been viewed 174 times since then and 16 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on May 25, 2017, by Bill Rieske of Lansing, Michigan.   2. submitted on December 15, 2017, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
Editor’s want-list for this marker. A wide shot of the marker and its surroundings. • Can you help?
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Apr. 8, 2020