Classic Entertainment Autographs

Cat. #0015821132: JACK JOHNSON

Sorry, this item has already been sold.

Ultra-rare vintage green fountain pen signature on a 1.5 x 5-inch irregularly trimmed portion of a tan album page, acquired in-person by a young boy in his grammar school autograph album in the early 1940s.  It reads, "Jack Johnson / Former Champ".  Some mild creasing to the left side, but, overall, in fairly good condition for its age.  Note that the image of the athlete accompanying the autograph here is not included with the item.  Very little autographed material has survived from the remarkable career of African-American boxing champion John Arthur “Jack” Johnson.  The son of former slaves, he learned and mastered his skills in free-for-all fights that pitted Black fighters against one another.  Despite intense racism, including outrageous claims of trafficking White woman, he turned professional in 1897, enduring 19 bouts with an 11-3-5 record before becoming the World Colored Heavyweight Champion.  In 1908, he defeated Tommy Burns in Sydney, Australia and became the first Black World Heavyweight Champion.  He held the title until 1915.  Johnson fought professionally until the age of 60 in 1938, ending his career with a 77-13-14 record, 19 no decisions and 48 technical knockouts. He died at 68 and was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1990.  This is the second example of his autograph we have encountered in 30 years.