JACOBS, MICHAEL STRAUSS

JACOBS, MICHAEL STRAUSS ("Uncle Mike"; 1880–1953), U.S. boxing promoter, member of the International Boxing Hall of Fame and World Boxing Hall of Fame. Strauss was one of 10 children born in New York's Greenwich Village to immigrants Isaac and Rachel (Strauss). His family was poor, forcing Jacobs to work as a boy selling newspapers and candy on Coney Island excursion boats. After noticing that ticket purchases for the boats were often confusing to prospective passengers, Jacobs began scalping boat tickets, bought concession rights on all the ferries docked at the Battery, and eventually ran his own ferryboats. Jacobs then became the premier ticket scalper in New York, buying and selling theater, opera, or sports events tickets, and began sponsoring events himself, including charity balls, bike races, and circuses. Jacobs opened a legitimate ticket agency across from the Metropolitan Opera House, becoming the "standout ticket agent of New York," and also invested his money in several other successful enterprises, including real estate development, Enrico Caruso's concert tour, and a series of lectures by British suffragette Emily Pankhurst. Jacobs began his career in boxing promotion in 1921 by working with Hall of Famer Tex Rickard, raising $100,000 in cash in just eight hours to help Rickard promote the Jack Dempsey-Georges Carpentier heavyweight championship bout. The result was the first $1 million gate in boxing history. Jacobs also helped Rickard in financing the building of the Old Madison Square Garden in 1925. But four years after Rickard's death in 1929, Jacobs formed the Twentieth Century Sporting Club with three reporters, including Damon Runyan, to compete with the Garden for the biggest boxing promotions. From 1935 until 1949, Jacobs was arguably the most powerful man in boxing, controlling practically every world title bout between Featherweights and Heavyweights, and the stretch on Manhattan's 49th Street between Broadway and Eighth Avenue was known as "Jacobs Beach." "Nobody else ever exerted such absolute dictatorship as his over any sport," wrote columnist Red Smith. Jacobs' main attraction was heavyweight Joe Louis, whom Jacobs promoted at a time when Madison Square Garden was reticent about staging fights with blacks. Jacobs persuaded heavyweight champion Jim Braddock to break a contract with the Garden in order to fight Louis in Chicago, and Louis won. When Louis fought Max Schmeling in 1936 and 1938, some Jewish groups opposed giving Schmeling a platform, and several of them applied pressure on Jacobs to cancel the fights. Jacobs offered to donate 10 per cent of the gate to groups helping Jewish refugees. A story in the American Hebrew in 1946 praised Jacobs for giving Joe Louis the opportunity to strike "a terrific blow to the theory of race supremacy." Jacobs solidified his position as a top promoter when he staged the Carnival of Champions on September 23, 1937, at the Polo Grounds in New York, featuring four world championship bouts in one night. Madison Square Garden subsequently leased the arena and the outdoor Madison Square Garden Bowl to the Twentieth Century Sporting Club. Jacobs' relationship with the Garden changed from tenant-landlord to a partnership, with Jacobs staging 320 shows there from 1937 to 1949. In 1944 he obtained the first commercial sponsorship of a television fight, featuring the Featherweight title bout between Willie Pep and Chalky Wright. Jacobs, who promoted 61 championship fights including three million-dollar bouts during his career, suffered a cerebral hemorrhage in 1946, and finally sold his empire to Madison Square Garden in 1949. Jacobs was elected to the World Boxing Hall of Fame in 1982, and the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1990. He was the subject of a biography by Daniel M Daniel, The Mike Jacobs Story (1950). (Elli Wohlgelernter (2nd ed.)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Michael Schopper — (* 28. Mai 1942) ist ein deutscher Sänger (Bassbariton). Michael Schopper ging am Gymnasium der Regensburger Domspatzen zur Schule und studierte als Stipendiat der Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes Kirchenmusik und Gesang an der Hochschule für …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Michael Schwerner — See also: Mississippi civil rights workers murders Michael Schwerner Born Michael Henry Schwerner November 6, 1939(1939 11 06) …   Wikipedia

  • Mike Jacobs (boxing) — This article is about the boxing promoter. For other people with this name, see Mike Jacobs. Jacobs (right) with Joe Louis (left) and Louis trainer Jack Chappie Blackburn ringside at the Henry Armstrong/Barney Ross bout at the Madison Square… …   Wikipedia

  • Nadja Michael — (* 1969 in Wurzen) ist eine deutsche Opern Lied , und Oratoriensängerin (Mezzosopran und seit April 2005 Sopran). Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Biografie und künstlerisches Wirken 2 Auszeichnungen 3 …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Curtis Institute of Music — The Curtis Institute of Music Established 1924 Type Private Endowment $130.5 million[1] …   Wikipedia

  • Heinrich Eduard Jacob — (* 7. Oktober 1889 als Henry Edward Jacob in Berlin Friedrichstadt; † 25. Oktober 1967 in Salzburg) war ein deutscher und amerikanischer Journalist und Schriftsteller. Er schrieb auch unter den Pseudonymen Henry E. Jacob und Eric Jens Petersen.… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Henry Jakob — Heinrich Eduard Jacob (* 7. Oktober 1889 als Henry Edward Jacob in Berlin Friedrichstadt; † 25. Oktober 1967 in Salzburg) war ein deutscher und amerikanischer Journalist und Schriftsteller. Er schrieb auch unter den Pseudonymen Henry E. Jacob und …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • literature — /lit euhr euh cheuhr, choor , li treuh /, n. 1. writings in which expression and form, in connection with ideas of permanent and universal interest, are characteristic or essential features, as poetry, novels, history, biography, and essays. 2.… …   Universalium

  • performing arts — arts or skills that require public performance, as acting, singing, or dancing. [1945 50] * * * ▪ 2009 Introduction Music Classical.       The last vestiges of the Cold War seemed to thaw for a moment on Feb. 26, 2008, when the unfamiliar strains …   Universalium

  • Fashions — ▪ 2009       The faltering global economy determined the direction of fashion during 2008. Initially, the euro s significant appreciation against the dollar proved a boon to style conscious travelers who, visiting the U.S. from abroad as the year …   Universalium

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.