Dempsey biographies?

A while back, some of you posted the titles of a number of Jack Dempsey biographies. What are the best ones out there?


I've only read his autobiography - the imaginatively titled 'Dempsey'. However I've heard from a lot of sources (including this forum) that the A Flame of Pure Fire: Jack Dempsey and Roaring Twenties by Roger Kahn (sp?) is the definitive biogrpahy of Dempsey as the others are considered to be not very truthful/accurate regarding his past.

As I am sure you'll know, Martin Burke has been leading a hate campaign against the Manassa Mauler for years on these boards - he claims Dempsey was a featherfisted draft dodger who only achieved fame and fortune by beating up a load of slow white guys with loaded gloves. However, he does research Dempsey a lot in order to slander him so maybe he'll be able to recommend further reading.

Thanks guys... off to I go...

Sorry, Martin, it looks like my thread brought you out of the closet, eh?

Dempsey was a plaster-of-paris-fisted... :)

Actually, he held a mack truck in each hand. Thankfully for his fans, due to the poor quality of the films, you can't seem them clearly enough.

Was Kearns behind the plutonium-enriched railroad spike? That is what I heard :)

I got Kahn's book (used) for $2.98 on plus shipping and handling.

If you are interested in Dempsey's very early years
in Colorado, read KID BLACKIE which is usually
available on for about $10. Well
researched but dull writing style.

You'll be happy with A Fire of Pure Flame, it's well written and engaging.

nice purchase ron... let me know what you think. I gotta get around to reading that one some day. Enjoy.

It was a great read. Dempsey is a very likeable figure (despite his alleged draft dodging and checkered past as a youth) who was too inactive at times because Kearns didn't want to risk his title against competition that Dempsey probably could have beaten. Martin, I have three questions for you: (1) What size gloves did Dempsey and Willard wear during their title fight? (2) Do you think that the referee in the long count fight at Soldier's Field was paid off by the mob? (3) Do you think that Dempsey would have beaten Harry Wills?

IMO if it's important...

1. I think they were 6oz horsehair
2. No idea
3. Going by opinions of the day, Dempsey wouldv'e won (or at least Mr Burke thinks so... and no, I am NOT saying you were there is those days to have an opinion ;o))