Louis, Joe (1914–1981)
The worldwide heavyweight champion from 1937 to 1949, Louis became an idol and hero in American culture, one of the first African Americans to achieve such a celebrity status. Known as the Brown Bomber, he won 26 championship fights. He immortalized himself by winning against Benito Mussolini’s emissary, Primo Carnera, in 1935, and German boxer Max Schmeling in 1938, who Hitler claimed represented Ayran superiority. Louis served his country by enlisting in the US Army during World War II.