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*This date marks the birth of Archie Moore in 1913. He was a Black boxer and world light-heavyweight champion.
Archibald Lee Wright (his birth name) was born in Benoit, Mississippi. Little is known about his youth. As a professional boxer from the 1930s, for many years Moore was avoided by middleweight and light-heavyweight champions who considered him too formidable. He owned the world light-heavyweight belt from December 17, 1952, when he defeated Joey Maxim in 15 rounds in St. Louis, Missouri, until 1962, when he lost recognition as a champion for failing to meet Harold Johnson, the leading 175-pound challenger.
In Moore’s attempts to win the heavyweight title, Rocky Marciano knocked him out in 1955 and Floyd Patterson in 1956. From 1936 to 1963 Moore had 229 bouts, winning 194, 141 by knockouts. A colorful and popular champion, he called himself "the Old Mongoose" and encouraged controversy about his age. Moore became a film actor, receiving critical praise for his portrayal of the slave Jim in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1959).
His autobiography, The Archie Moore Story, appeared in 1960. Later in his life, he turned to youth work. He died, December 9, 1998, in San Diego, California.
Boxing Album: An Illustrated History
by Peter Brooke Bell
Smithmark Publisher, 1995