Join Date: Mar 2008
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Originally Posted by Greatest1942
I am sorry but i believe you are mistaking Harry Willis with Sam...And if there are any stories like this from a godd source do let me know. Taken from Monte Cox's website "Sam was living destitute in Harlem when newspaperman Al Laney of the New York Herald Tribune tracked him down and wrote a short series of stories on him in 1944. A sportswriter’s fund was established for Sam that cared for him until his death at the age of 72 on Jan. 12, 1956."
Here;s how Laney found Langford in "Langford had 20 cents in his pocket and was subsisting on a few dollars he received each month from a foundation for the blind. Twice a day, two young boys would come by and take him to a restaurant for breakfast and a second meal late in the afternoon. Langford told Laney that he the rest of his time sitting alone in his dark bedroom with only his radio for company.
When he’d gathered the information he needed for his story, Laney went back to the office and banged out the story on his typewriter for the paper. But he didn’t stop there: He was so moved by Langford’s situation that he initiated a drive with a group of New York businessmen and -women that raised $10,892 for a trust fund for Langford. Among the 705 contributors were men fighters Jack Dempsey, Beau Jack, Fritzie Zivic, and Joe Louis, boxing promoter Mike Jacobs, and famed New York nightclub owner Toots Shore. Sam was provided with an initial payment of $125, followed by $75 per month until April of 1945, after which the balance of $9,000 was invested in an insurance company so that Langford would receive an annuity of $49.18 a month for life."
I have read a host of artciles on Sam and I believe you are mistaken here...Louis knew he will dismantle Max, when asked about their rematch Joe said "It got one in it".
You are right though that Sam was a charecter. In 1923 when he was practically blind and needed help from handlers to move around the ring he said “Don’t worry about little Sammy,” he said, “I don’t need to see that boy, I just got to feel him.” He knocked out Kid Savage to become the Mexican Heavyweight Champion. After retiring he went into hibernation and was discovered by Laney as mentioned above.
In a statement attributed to him a few months before his death, he said, “Don’t nobody need to feel sorry for old Sam. I had plenty of good times. I been all over the world. I fought maybe 600 fights, and every one was a pleasure!”
It was definitely Langford, not Wills. I recalled that it was dramatised in Louis's 1953 film biography. Langford was a good friend of 'Chappie Blackburn' so its no real suprise.