Joe Lewis, known as the "Brown Bomber", was born Joseph Louis Barrow on May 13, 1914, and died April 12, 1981. Joe Louis was the World Heavyweight Champion from 1937 to 1949. Considered to be one of the greatest heavyweights of all time, the "Brown Bomber", established a reputation as an honest, hardworking fighter at a time when the sport was dominated by gambling. Louis' championship lasted 140 consecutive months, during which he participated in 26 championship fights. Louis was victorious in 25 title defenses, a record for any division. Louis was ranked as the #1 heavyweight of all-time by the International Boxing Research Organization in 2005.
Louis is regarded as the first African American to achieve the status of a nationwide hero within the United States, and his cultural impact was felt around the world. Louis was a focal point of anti-Nazi sentiment leading up to and during World War II, and broke the color barrier in America by integrating the game of golf. Louis was instrumental in breaking the sport's color barrier in America by appearing under a sponsor's exemption in a PGA event in 1952.