Five photographs and two magazines all showcasing boxing champion Henry Armstrong were donated to the Billups-Garth Archives this week.
Boxer, actor, and minister Henry Armstrong (born Henry Jackson Jr.) was born in Columbus, Mississippi on December 12, 1912. His childhood home was located off of Wilkins-Wise and Waverly Roads.
Considered one of the greatest fighters of all time, Armstrong is the only fighter to simultaneously hold three world titles in three different weight divisions—featherweight, lightweight, and welterweight. Armstrong had 152 victories in 181 fights through-out his career.
Armstrong is a member of the International Boxing Hall of Fame and in 2010 he was inducted into the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame.
Armstrong died in October 1988 in California.
The items donated include five press photographs from 1938-1968. The photographs show Armstrong winning the Eddie Neil Award in 1941, talking with young boys at the Herbert Hoover Boys’ Club in St. Louis in 1968, boxing with Jimmy Garrison in 1939, signing for his welterwight title fight against Ceferino Garcia in 1938, and being interviewed for an article in The Colonel by reporter Dave Egan in 1940.
The first magazine is “Newsweek” from June 13, 1938. It has Armstrong on the cover and asks the question “Armstrong: pound for pound the world’s best fighter?” Inside on page 24 is an article instroducing the 25 year old fighter and describing his fight with Barney Ross in Madison Square Garden’s Long Island Bowl.
The second magazines is “The Main Event” and it includes Armstrong on the cover of its April 23, 1949 issue. Published in Los Angeles, California, the caption reads:
“Henry Armstrong, better known to fight followers as ‘Hurricane Hank,’ the only fighter in the history of the fight game to hold three world titles simultaneously, is shown here with his protege, Keith Nuttall, Brigham City, Utah lightweight. Nuttall meets Maxie Docusen Tuesday at the Olympic Auditorium.”
Researchers can find these items located in accession # 2012-15.