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Thread: Pittsburgh Jackie Wilson

  1. #1
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    Pittsburgh Jackie Wilson

    Anyone know of any articles ever written on this guy? I haven't found any in The Ring or Boxing Illustrated as of yet.

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    Re: Pittsburgh Jackie Wilson

    Surf-bat:

    Can't pinpoint any particular boxing publication where Wilson was written up repeatedly because I sold my collection of Ring, Arena, etc. magazines years ago. I do remember him well and had occasion to publicize other fighters that were managed by the same man who guided Jackie to the NBA Featherweight Title. That would be Jack Laken, who would develop Harold Baby Face Jones in the late 1940s.

    Wilson was a central figure in that crazy merry-go-round that enveloped the featherweight class for about four years. That's when Wilson, Petey Scalzo, Richie Lemos, Jackie Callura, Harry Jeffra, Phil Terranova, Sal Bartolo and Joey Archibald all had the distinction of being recognized as NBA champions briefly while New York had its own choice for titleholder.

    The mess was cleared up finally when Willie Pep ascended the throne in 1946.

    hap navarro

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    Re: Pittsburgh Jackie Wilson

    Thanks for the info, Hap. Very imformative

    Now if only I could find some articles....

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    Re: Pittsburgh Jackie Wilson

    I just read Wilson's obit. It says he died in 1966 at age 55 "after a lingering illness" but gave no specifics. It also states that he had been a patient at a hospital for 15 years! That means he became a patient a mere FOUR years after retiring.

    Anyone know the cause of this? Early dementia, perhaps??

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    Re: Pittsburgh Jackie Wilson

    Hi Surf-bat,

    I believe there is at least one story of him in the Ring 1940s, and as I remember he also had the unique distinction of being quite a good and noted Artist as well as top fighter...

    I'll have to look at his record, see when he was 'peaking' and that should narrow the search down.

    give me a week or so.

    Jim.

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    Re: Pittsburgh Jackie Wilson

    Jim -- I too recall the Ring's article mentioning him as a good artist. It was early in his career.

    Also, and maybe I am wrong about this -- i seem to recall he was in the Army with Sugar ray Robinson and fought some exh against him while they were both soldiers.

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    Re: Pittsburgh Jackie Wilson

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike DeLisa
    Jim -- I too recall the Ring's article mentioning him as a good artist. It was early in his career.

    Also, and maybe I am wrong about this -- i seem to recall he was in the Army with Sugar ray Robinson and fought some exh against him while they were both soldiers.
    Mike, I believe that was California Jackie Wilson, the welterweight.

    California Jackie Wilson
    Global ID 24429
    sex male
    birth date 1918-01-17
    division welterweight
    nationality United States
    residence Los Angeles, California, United States
    birth place Spencer, NC
    stance orthodox
    height 5′ 10˝″
    reach 76“
    won 62 (KO 37) + lost 20 (KO 4) + drawn 6 = 89

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    Re: Pittsburgh Jackie Wilson

    Jim, that article was on California (formerly Cleveland) Jackie Wilson who was the top welterweight contender (many thought he was even better than Robinson at the time) and the article was in the November 1941 RING magazine and did mention his art skills.
    I could be wrong but I thought I read many years ago that Pittsburgh Jackie Wilson had a long struggle with tuberculosis.

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    Re: Pittsburgh Jackie Wilson

    One thing is certain, the artististry in Jackie Wilson belonged to California Jackie Wilson, who had many photos taken alongside his easels holding very good examples of his painting.

    And Chuck is right about Wilson's ring talent; he was, indeed, a ranking contender for the world crown. Soft spoken, well mannered, much too young to die, California Jackie Wilson, who left us at the age of 38.

    hap navarro

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    Re: Pittsburgh Jackie Wilson

    Quote Originally Posted by phlboxarc
    I could be wrong but I thought I read many years ago that Pittsburgh Jackie Wilson had a long struggle with tuberculosis.
    If I could find that source I would be a happy man.

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    Re: Pittsburgh Jackie Wilson

    California Jackie Wilson was born George Dudley Wilson -- I will search my files for info/obit etc on Pittsburgh Jackie.

    Yes, my recollection on the article was wrong!

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    Re: Pittsburgh Jackie Wilson

    Obit for Pittsburgh Jackie Wilson -- Torrance State is a mental hospital. Maybe Ring in early 1967 published more info on his passing?

    Died Dec 2, 1966

    Dec 5, 1966 Leader Times
    Leechburg Ex-Boxing Champ Dies

    Leechburg, PA (UPI)-- Funeral services were held at 1 pm today for Jackie Wilson, former National Boxing Association featherweight champion.

    The 55-year-old formwer boxer died Friday at Torrance State Hospital where he had been a patient for 15 years.

    . . .

    A bachelor, death claimed the ring champion after a lingering illness. He is survived by five brothers, including John Henry Wilson of Kittanning; Hammit J., Washington, DC,; George and Forest, both of North Vandergrift and napolean in Ohio. Burial was in Evergreen Cemetary.

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    Re: Pittsburgh Jackie Wilson

    PS -- Johnny Bos and I still have some copies of our obit compilation book Who Lies There:

    Who Lies There? A Compendium of Boxer's Obituaries by Mike DeLisa & Johnny Bos

    wholies (83k image)


    Over 100 pages of obituaries of boxers, fighters, managers, and promoters. The gamut runs from the most famous to the most obscure. Complete obituaries are reprinted, and serve as an immense guide to furgter research for the boxing fan -- or as a bet-settler for the true stat geek.

    Learn of the sad end of Gene Tunney opponent Wolf Larson, who once stole a milk wagon (horse and all) and tried to pawn it for a bottle of hootch. You probably never heard of Jack LaFontise, who dies while attended by his brothers, pro boxers themselves, but you won't forget his story.

    Some of the nation's besst sportswriters describe the end of many of our boxing heroes and villains -- Gene Tunney, Sugar Ray Robinson, Kid Chocolate, Jack Johnson, Benny Leonard, Harry Greb, Jem Ward, Bob Fitzsimmons, Joe Jennette (Jeanette), Al Palzer, Benny Bass and hundreds of others.

    Which boxer died after drinking carbolic acid? Who died while making moonshine whisky when his still exploded? Who drowned? This book answers all of these questions.

    Size 8 1/2 x 11 inches, bound.

    price -- $25 postpaid in USA -- if interested you can pay via paypal here:
    http://www.cyberboxingzone.com/news/...s/00003977.htm

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    Re: Pittsburgh Jackie Wilson

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike DeLisa
    Obit for Pittsburgh Jackie Wilson -- Torrance State is a mental hospital. Maybe Ring in early 1967 published more info on his passing?

    Died Dec 2, 1966

    Dec 5, 1966 Leader Times
    Leechburg Ex-Boxing Champ Dies

    Leechburg, PA (UPI)-- Funeral services were held at 1 pm today for Jackie Wilson, former National Boxing Association featherweight champion.

    The 55-year-old formwer boxer died Friday at Torrance State Hospital where he had been a patient for 15 years.

    . . .

    A bachelor, death claimed the ring champion after a lingering illness. He is survived by five brothers, including John Henry Wilson of Kittanning; Hammit J., Washington, DC,; George and Forest, both of North Vandergrift and napolean in Ohio. Burial was in Evergreen Cemetary.
    Anyone have that issue of The Ring?? I'd love to know specifics.

    Thanks for posting, Mike!

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    Re: Pittsburgh Jackie Wilson

    I don't know why obits on prematurely-dead boxers are often so vague. Tommy Speigal is a prime example. Dies at 32 but no specifics:

    http://www.boxrec.com/media/index.php?title=Human:29600

    Drives me nuts.

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    Re: Pittsburgh Jackie Wilson

    Well, Boxrec is in its infancy and only the crazy guys like johnny Bos and myself collect obits -- see book ad below.

    Spiegal had a football injury as a youth which led him to fight with a "game leg."

    The injury led to tuberculosis of the bone and caused his death at age 32.

    I will add that to boxrec

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    Re: Pittsburgh Jackie Wilson

    On this side topic, has anyone ever found out what took Scott "the Pink Cat" Walker at such an early age? PeteLeo.

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    Re: Pittsburgh Jackie Wilson

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike DeLisa
    Well, Boxrec is in its infancy and only the crazy guys like johnny Bos and myself collect obits -- see book ad below.

    Spiegal had a football injury as a youth which led him to fight with a "game leg."

    The injury led to tuberculosis of the bone and caused his death at age 32.

    I will add that to boxrec
    Thanks Mike. That helps a lot. I'm a bit of a neurotic
    completist sometimes!

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    Re: Pittsburgh Jackie Wilson

    Walker died of cancer.

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