Max Baer (boxer)

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Max Baer Sr.
Max Baer publicity-A.jpg
Baer c. 1935
Real name Maximilian Adelbert Baer
Weight(s) Heavyweight
Height 6 ft 2 12 in (1.89 m)
Reach 81 in (206 cm)[1][2]
Nationality American
Born (1909-02-11)February 11, 1909
Omaha, Nebraska, U.S.
Died November 21, 1959(1959-11-21) (aged 50)
Hollywood, California, U.S.
Stance Orthodox
Boxing record
Total fights 81
Wins 68
Wins by KO 51
Losses 13
Draws 0

Maximilian Adelbert Baer (February 11, 1909 – November 21, 1959) was an American boxer who was the World Heavyweight Champion from June 14, 1934, to June 13, 1935. His fights were twice (1933 win over Max Schmeling, 1935 loss to James J. Braddock) rated Fight of the Year by The Ring Magazine. Baer was also a boxing referee, and had an occasional role on film or television. He was the brother of heavyweight boxing contender Buddy Baer and father of actor Max Baer Jr.. Baer is rated #22 on Ring Magazine's list of 100 greatest punchers of all time.

Early life

Baer was born on February 11, 1909, in Omaha, Nebraska[3] to Jacob Baer (1875–1938) and Dora Bales (1877–1938).[4] His elder sister was Frances May Baer (1905–1991), his younger sister was Bernice Jeanette Baer (1911–1987), his younger brother was boxer-turned-actor Jacob Henry Baer, better known as Buddy Baer (1915–1986), and his adopted brother was August "Augie" Baer. For a period Jacob Bear worked as the manager of the meat packing concern of the Graden Mercantile Co. [5] in Durango, Colorado.

Move to California

In May 1922, tired of the winters that aggravated Frances's rheumatic fever and Jacob's high blood pressure,[6] the Baers drove to the milder climes of the West Coast, where Dora's sister lived in Alameda, California.[7] Jacob's expertise in the butcher business led to numerous job offers around the San Francisco Bay Area. While living in Hayward, Max took his first job as a delivery boy for John Lee Wilbur. Wilbur ran a grocery store and bought meat from Jacob.

The Baers lived in the Northern Californian towns of Hayward, San Leandro and Galt[7] before moving to Livermore in 1926. Livermore was cowboy country, surrounded by tens of thousands of acres of rangeland which supported large cattle herds that provided fresh meat to the local area. In 1928, Jacob leased the Twin Oaks Ranch in Murray Township, where he raised more than 2,000 hogs and worked with daughter Frances's husband, Louis Santucci.[7] Baer often credited working as a butcher boy, carrying heavy carcasses of meat, stunning cattle with one blow, and working at a gravel pit, for developing his powerful shoulders (an article in the January 1939 edition of The Family Circle Magazine reported that Baer also took the Charles Atlas exercise course.)[8]

Professional boxing career

Baer turned professional in 1929, progressing steadily through the Pacific Coast ranks. A ring tragedy little more than a year later almost caused Baer to drop out of boxing for good.

Frankie Campbell

Baer fought Frankie Campbell on August 25, 1930, in San Francisco in a ring built over home plate at San Francisco's Recreation Park for the unofficial title of Pacific Coast champion. In the second round, Campbell clipped Baer and Baer slipped to the canvas. Campbell went toward his corner and waved to the crowd. He thought Baer was getting the count. Baer got up and flew at Campbell, landing a right to Campbell's turned head which sent him to the canvas.

After the round, Campbell said to his trainer, "Something feels like it snapped in my head" but went on to handily win rounds 3 and 4. As Baer rose for the 5th round, Tillie "Kid" Herman, Baer's former friend and trainer, who had switched camps overnight and was now in Campbell's corner, savagely taunted and jeered Baer. In a rage and determined to end the bout with a knockout, Baer soon had Campbell against the ropes. As he hammered him with punch after punch, the ropes were the only thing holding Campbell up. By the time referee Toby Irwin stopped the fight, Campbell collapsed to the canvas. Baer's own seconds reportedly ministered to Campbell, and Baer stayed by his side until an ambulance arrived 30 minutes later. Baer "visited the stricken fighter's bedside", where he offered Frankie's wife Ellie the hand that hit her husband. She took that hand and the two stood speechless for a moment. "It was unfortunate, I'm awfully sorry", said Baer. "It even might have been you, mightn't it?" she replied.[9][10]

At noon the next day, with a lit candle laced between his crossed fingers, and his wife and mother beside him, Frankie Campbell was pronounced dead. Upon the surgeon's announcement of Campbell's death, Baer broke down and sobbed inconsolably. Brain specialist Dr. Tilton E. Tillman "declared death had been caused by a succession of blows on the jaw and not by any struck on the rear of the head" and that Campbell's brain had been "knocked completely loose from his skull" by Baer's blows.[11]

Ernie Schaaf

The Campbell incident earned Baer the reputation as a "killer" in the ring. This publicity was further sensationalized by Baer's return bout with Ernie Schaaf, on August 31, 1932. Schaaf had bested Baer in a decision during Max's Eastern debut bout at Madison Square Garden on September 19, 1930.

An Associated Press article in the September 9, 1932, sports section of the New York Times describes the end of the return bout as follows:

Two seconds before the fight ended Schaaf was knocked flat on his face, completely knocked out. He was dragged to his corner and his seconds worked over for him for three minutes before restoring him to his senses... Baer smashed a heavy right to the jaw that shook Schaaf to his heels, to start the last round, then walked into the Boston fighter, throwing both hands to the head and body. Baer drove three hard rights to the jaw that staggered Schaaf. Baer beat Schaaf around the ring and into the ropes with a savage attack to the head and body. Just before the round ended Baer dropped Schaaf to the canvas, but the bell sounded as Schaaf hit the floor.[12]

Schaaf complained frequently of headaches after that bout. Five months after the Baer fight, on February 11, 1933, Schaaf died in the ring after taking a left jab from the Italian fighter Primo Carnera. The majority of sports editors noted,[13] however, that an autopsy later revealed Schaaf had meningitis, a swelling of the brain, and was still recovering from a severe case of influenza when he touched gloves with Carnera. Schaaf's obituary stated that "just before his bout with Carnera, Schaaf went into reclusion in a religious retreat near Boston to recuperate from an attack of influenza" which produced the meningitis.[9][14] The death of Campbell and accusations over Schaaf's demise profoundly affected Baer, even though he was ostensibly indestructible and remained a devastating force in the ring. According to his son, actor/director Max Baer Jr. (who was born seven years after the incident):

My father cried about what happened to Frankie Campbell. He had nightmares. In reality, my father was one of the kindest, gentlest men you would ever hope to meet. He treated boxing the way today's professional wrestlers do wrestling: part sport, mostly showmanship. He never deliberately hurt anyone.[15]

In the case of Campbell, Baer was charged with manslaughter. Baer was eventually acquitted of all charges, but the California State Boxing Commission still banned him from any in-ring activity within the state for the next year. Baer gave purses from succeeding bouts to Campbell's family, but lost four of his next six fights. He fared better when Jack Dempsey took him under his wing.[citation needed]

Max Schmeling

Boxing has found in Max Baer the kind of fighter who can bring the game back to the old days—the days when big men fought to knock each other out...So I believe that boxing's comeback now rests right on Baer's shoulders. He is only 24 years old, he's the biggest, strongest man fighting today, and he hits with terrible power.

Jack Dempsey,
former world heavyweight champion[16]

On June 8, 1933, Baer fought and defeated (by a technical knockout) German heavyweight and former world champion Max Schmeling at Yankee Stadium. Schmeling was favored to win, and was Adolf Hitler's favorite fighter. The Nazi tabloid Der Stürmer publicly attacked Schmeling for fighting a non-Aryan, as Baer's father was half Jewish, calling it a "racial and cultural disgrace."[17]

Hitler summoned Schmeling for a private meeting in April in which he told Schmeling to contact him for help if he had any problems in the U.S., and requested that during any press interviews he should tell the American public that news reports about Jewish persecution in Germany were untrue. However, a few days after that meeting, Hitler put a national ban on boxing by Jews along with a boycott of all Jewish businesses. When Schmeling arrived in New York, he did as Hitler requested, and denied problems of anti-Semitism existed, adding that many of his neighbors were Jews, as was his manager.[18]

Although the Great Depression, then in full force, had lowered the income of most citizens, sixty thousand people attended the fight.[17] NBC radio updated millions nationwide as the match progressed. Baer, who was one-quarter Jewish, wore trunks which displayed the Star of David,[19] a symbol he wore in all his future bouts. When the fight began, he dominated the rugged Schmeling into the tenth round, when Baer knocked him down and the referee stopped the match.[20] Columnist Westbrook Pegler wrote about Schmeling's loss, "That wasn't a defeat, that was a disaster", while journalist David Margolick claimed that Baer's win would come to "symbolize Jewry's struggle against the Nazis."[17]

Baer became a hero among Jews, those who identified with Jews, and those who despised the Nazis.[21] According to biographer David Bret, after the war ended, it was learned that Schmeling had in fact saved the lives of many Jewish children during the war while still serving his country.[22]

Swedish film star Greta Garbo considered Baer's defeat of Schmeling to be a "mini-victory" over German fascism, and she invited him to visit her while she was filming Queen Christina in Hollywood.[22] However, Baer's being allowed on the set was considered a "sacrilege" in Hollywood, as even MGM studio's head, Louis B. Mayer, wasn't allowed on Garbo's set, since she demanded total privacy while acting.[23] Their friendship led to a romance, which lasted until he returned to New York to train for his next fight, this one against Primo Carnera.[22]

World Heavyweight Champion

On June 14, 1934, at the outdoor Madison Square Garden Bowl at Long Island, NY, Baer defeated the huge reigning world champion Primo Carnera of Italy, who weighed in at 267 pounds. Baer knocked down the champion 11 times before the fight was stopped in the eleventh round by referee Arthur Donovan to save Carnera from further punishment. All the knockdowns occurred in rounds one, two, ten and eleven, in which Baer thoroughly dominated. The intervening rounds were competitive. There is some dispute about the number of knockdowns scored as Carnera slipped to the canvas on several occasions and was wrestled to the canvas other times. Despite this dominant performance over Carnera, Baer would hold the world heavyweight title for just 364 days.

James J. Braddock

On June 13, 1935, one of the greatest upsets in boxing history transpired in Long Island City, New York, as Baer fought down-and-out boxer James J. Braddock in the so-called Cinderella Man bout. Baer hardly trained for the bout. Braddock, on the other hand, was training hard. "I'm training for a fight, not a boxing contest or a clownin' contest or a dance," he said. "Whether it goes one round or three rounds or ten rounds, it will be a fight and a fight all the way. When you've been through what I've had to face in the last two years, a Max Baer or a Bengal tiger looks like a house pet. He might come at me with a cannon and a blackjack and he would still be a picnic compared to what I've had to face." Baer, ever the showman, "brought gales of laughter from the crowd with his antics" the night he stepped between the ropes to meet Braddock. As Braddock "slipped the blue bathrobe from his pink back, he was the sentimental favorite of a Bowl crowd of 30,000, most of whom had bet their money 8-to-1 against him."[citation needed]

Max "undoubtedly paid the penalty for underestimating his challenger beforehand and wasting too much time clowning." At the end of 15 rounds Braddock emerged the victor in a unanimous decision, outpointing Baer 8 rounds to 6 in the "most astounding upset since John L. Sullivan went down before the thrusts of Gentleman Jim Corbett back in the nineties." Braddock took heavy hits from Baer but kept coming at him until he wore Max down.[citation needed]

Decline and retirement

Baer and his brother Buddy both lost fights to Joe Louis. In the third round of Max's September 1935 match, Joe knocked Baer down twice, the first time he had ever been knocked to the canvas in his career. A sizzling left hook in the fourth round brought Max to his knee again, and the referee called the bout soon after.[24][25] It was learned weeks later that Baer fought Louis with a broken right hand that never healed from his fight with James J. Braddock. Max was virtually helpless without his big right hand in the Louis fight. In the first televised heavyweight prizefight, Baer lost to Lou Nova on June 1, 1939, on WNBT-TV in New York.

White Heavyweight Champ

Baer was awarded a belt declaring him the "White Heavyweight Champion of the World" after he scored a first-round TKO over Pat Cominsky in a bout at Roosevelt Stadium in Jersey City, New Jersey, on 26 September 1940, but it was a publicity stunt. The fight was not promoted as being for the white heavyweight championship, and Cominsky would not have won the belt had he beaten Baer.

The belt was a publicity stunt dreamed up by boxing promoters who were trying to pressure promoter Mike Jacobs into giving the ex-world heavyweight champion a rematch with current champ Joe Louis. Jacobs did not give Baer another bout with Louis.[26] Baer retired after his next fight, on 4 April 1941, when he lost to Lou Nova on a TKO in the eighth round of scheduled 10-rounder at Madison Square Garden. Nova did get a shot at Joe Louis, losing to the champion by TKO in the sixth round of a scheduled fifteen-round bout held at the Polo Grounds in New York.

Career statistics

Baer boxed in 84 professional fights from 1929 to 1941. In all, his record was 71–13. Fifty-three of those wins were knockouts, making him a member of the exclusive group of boxers to have won 50 or more bouts by knockout. Baer defeated the likes of Ernie Schaaf, Walter Cobb, Kingfish Levinsky, Max Schmeling, Tony Galento, Ben Foord and Tommy Farr. He was Heavyweight Champion of the World from June 14, 1934, to June 13, 1935.

Baer was a 1968 inductee into The Ring magazine's Boxing Hall of Fame (disbanded in 1987) and was inducted to the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1995. He was inducted to the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame in 2009. The 1998 Holiday Issue of Ring ranked Baer #20 in "The 50 Greatest Heavyweights of All Time". In Ring Magazine's 100 Greatest Punchers (published in 2003), Baer is ranked number 22.


Baer's motion picture debut was in The Prizefighter and the Lady (1933) opposite Myrna Loy and Walter Huston. In this MGM movie he played Steven "Steve" Morgan, a bartender that the Professor, played by Huston, begins training for the ring. Steve wins a fight, then marries Belle Mercer, played by Loy. He starts seriously training, but it turns out he has a huge ego and an eye for women. Featured were Baer's upcoming opponent, Primo Carnera, as himself, whom Steve challenges for the championship, and Jack Dempsey, as himself, former heavyweight champion, acting as the referee.

On March 29, 1934, The Prizefighter and the Lady was officially banned in Germany at the behest of Joseph Goebbels, Adolf Hitler's Minister of Propaganda and Public Entertainment, even though it received favorable reviews in local newspapers as well as in Nazi publications. When contacted for comment at Lake Tahoe, Baer said, "They didn't ban the picture because I have Jewish blood. They banned it because I knocked out Max Schmeling." Baer enlisted, as did his brother Buddy, in the United States Army when World War II began.

Baer acted in almost 20 movies, including Africa Screams (1949) with Abbott and Costello, and made several television guest appearances. A clown in and out of the ring, Baer also appeared in a vaudeville act and on his own TV variety show. Baer appeared in Humphrey Bogart's final movie, The Harder They Fall (1956), opposite Mike Lane as Toro Moreno, a Hollywood version of Primo Carnera, whom Baer defeated for his heavyweight title. Budd Schulberg, who wrote the book from which the movie was made, portrayed the Baer character, "Buddy Brannen", as blood thirsty, and the unfounded characterization was reprised in the movie Cinderella Man.

In 1951, Baer teamed up with another title holder, friend and Light Heavyweight champion (1929-34) and boxer-turned actor/comedian, Maxie Rosenbloom. Together, the two starred in SkipAlong Rosenbloom (written by Rosenbloom-uncredited). They embarked on a comedy tour, billed as "The Two Maxie's" on YouTube. Baer would also take the stage at Rosenbloom's comedy club on Wilshire Blvd, Slapsy Maxie's, which was featured in the film Gangster Squad. Baer and Rosenbloom remained friends until Baer's death in 1959.

Baer additionally worked as a disc jockey for a Sacramento radio station, and for a while he was a wrestler. He served as public relations director for a Sacramento automobile dealership and referee for boxing and wrestling matches.


Baer was married twice, first to actress Dorothy Dunbar (married July 8, 1931-divorced October 6, 1933) and then to Mary Ellen Sullivan (1903–1978) (married June 29, 1935-his death 1959), the mother of his 3 children: actor Max Baer Jr. (born 1937), best known for playing Jethro Bodine on The Beverly Hillbillies; James Manny Baer (1941-2009); and Maudie Marian Baer (born 1944).

At the time of his death on November 21, 1959, Baer was scheduled to appear in some TV commercials in Los Angeles before returning to his home in Sacramento.


On Wednesday, November 18, 1959, Baer refereed a nationally televised 10-round boxing match in Phoenix. At the end of the match, to the applause of the crowd, Baer grasped the ropes and vaulted out of the ring and joined fight fans in a cocktail bar. The next day, he was scheduled to appear in several television commercials in Hollywood, California. On his way, he stopped in Garden Grove, California, to keep a promise he had made thirteen years earlier to the then five-year-old son of his ex-sparring partner, Curly Owens. Baer presented the now 18-year-old with a foreign sports car on his birthday, as he had said he would.[27]

Baer checked into the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel upon his arrival on November 19. Hotel employees said he looked fit but complained of a cold. As he was shaving on the morning of November 21, he experienced chest pains. He called the front desk and asked for a doctor. The desk clerk said that "a house doctor would be right up." "A house doctor?" he replied jokingly, "No, dummy, I need a people doctor".

A doctor gave Baer medicine, and a fire department rescue squad administered oxygen. His chest pains subsided and he was showing signs of recovery when he was stricken with a second heart attack. Just a moment before, he was joking with the doctor, declaring he had come through two similar but lighter attacks earlier in Sacramento, California. Then he slumped on his left side, turned blue and died within a matter of minutes. His last words reportedly were, "Oh God, here I go."[27]


Baer's funeral in Sacramento was attended by more than 1,500 mourners. Four former world boxing champions appeared and Joe Louis and Jack Dempsey were among the pallbearers. The cemetery service was concluded by an American Legion honor guard recognizing Baer's service in World War II. Baer's obituary made the front page of The New York Times. He was laid to rest in a garden crypt in St. Mary's Catholic Cemetery in Sacramento.


There is a park named for Baer in Livermore, California. There is also a park named for him in Sacramento. He was honored by the Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame in 1988.

Baer was an active member of the Fraternal Order of Eagles. When Max died of a heart attack in 1959, the Eagles created a charity fund as a tribute to his memory and as a means of combating the disease that killed him. The Max Baer Heart Fund is primarily to aid in heart research and education. Since the fund started in 1959, millions of dollars have been donated to universities, medical centers and hospitals across the United States and Canada for heart research and education.

In Grant County, West Virginia, there is a road that is named "Max Baer Road"; however, according to Thomas "Duke" Miller, a TV/movie/celebrity expert who resides in that state, there is no evidence anywhere that the Baer family ever had any ties with West Virginia.

Selected filmography

Alluded to in:

  • The Tortoise and the Hare (1934) Disney. In this cartoon short, a tortoise is pitted against a hare in a race. The first time the hare appears on screen, he is wearing a robe similar to a boxer's robe. On the back of the robe is emblazoned "Max Hare". This cartoon came out the year that Baer won his heavyweight title.

Portrayed in:

TV guest appearances

Professional boxing record

Professional record summary
79 fights 66 wins 13 losses
By knockout 51 3
By decision 15 8
By disqualification 0 2
Draws 0
No contests 0
No. Result Record Opponent Type Round, time Date Location Notes
81 Loss 69–12 United States Lou Nova TKO 8 (10), 2:18 4 Apr 1941 United States Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, U.S.
80 Win 69–11 United States Pat Comiskey TKO 1 (10), 2:39 26 Sep 1940 United States Roosevelt Stadium, Jersey City, New Jersey, U.S.
79 Win 68–11 United States Tony Galento RTD 7 (15) 2 Jul 1940 United States Roosevelt Stadium, Jersey City, New Jersey, U.S.
78 Win 67–11 United States Babe Ritchie KO 2 (10), 1:10 18 Sep 1939 United States Fair Park Stadium, Lubbock, Texas, U.S.
77 Win 66–11 United States Big Ed Murphy KO 1 (4), 1:40 4 Sep 1939 United States Silver Peak, Nevada, U.S.
76 Loss 65–11 United States Lou Nova TKO 11 (12), 1:21 1 Jun 1939 United States Yankee Stadium, Bronx, New York, U.S.
75 Win 65–10 United States Hank Hankinson KO 1 (10), 0:48 26 Oct 1938 United States Civic Auditorium, Honolulu, Hawaii, U.S.
74 Win 64–10 United Kingdom Tommy Farr UD 15 11 Mar 1938 United States Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, U.S.
73 Win 63–10 South Africa Ben Foord TKO 9 (10) 27 May 1937 United Kingdom Harringay Arena, London, England
72 Loss 62–10 United Kingdom Tommy Farr PTS 12 15 Apr 1937 United Kingdom Harringay Arena, London, England
71 Win 62–9 United States Dutch Weimer KO 2 (10), 1:30 19 Oct 1936 Canada Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
70 Loss 61–9 United States Willie Davies PTS 6 8 Oct 1936 United States Platteville, Wisconsin, U.S.
69 Win 61–8 United States Tim Charles KO 4 (6) 6 Oct 1936 United States Coliseum, Evansville, Illinois, U.S.
68 Win 60–8 United States Andy Miller NWS 6 21 Sep 1936 United States Sheldon, Iowa, Iowa, U.S.
67 Win 59–8 United States Bearcat Wright NWS 6 14 Sep 1936 United States Des Moines Coliseum, Des Moines, Iowa, U.S.
66 Win 58–8 United States Cowboy Sammy Evans KO 3 (6) 7 Sep 1936 United States Elks Hall, Casper, Wyoming, U.S.
65 Win 57–8 United States Cyclone Lynch KO 3 (6) 4 Sep 1936 United States Rock Springs, Wyoming, U.S.
64 Win 56–8 United States Al Gaynor KO 1 (6) 2 Sep 1936 United States Lincoln Field, Twin Falls, Idaho, U.S.
63 Win 55–8 United States Don Baxter KO 1 (6) 31 Aug 1936 United States Memorial Ball Park, Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, U.S.
62 Win 54–8 United States Al Frankco KO 2 (6) 29 Aug 1936 United States Recreation Park, Lewiston, Idaho, U.S.
61 Win 53–8 United States Cecil Myart PTS 6 25 Aug 1936 United States Multnomah Stadium, Portland, Oregon, U.S.
60 Win 52–8 United States Nails Gorman TKO 3 (6) 24 Aug 1936 United States Armory, Marshfield, Wisconsin, U.S.
59 Win 51–8 United States Bob Williams KO 1 (6), 3:00 24 Jul 1936 United States Ogden Stadium, Ogden, Utah, U.S.
58 Win 50–8 United States Cecil Smith PTS 4 17 Jul 1936 United States Convention Hall, Ada, Oklahoma, U.S.
57 Win 49–8 United States Junior Munsell KO 5 (6), 0:45 16 Jul 1936 United States Tulsa Coliseum, Tulsa, Oklahoma, U.S.
56 Win 48–8 United States James Merriott KO 2 (6) 13 Jul 1936 United States Avey's Open-Air Arena, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, U.S.
55 Win 47–8 United States Buck Rogers KO 3 (6) 2 Jul 1936 United States Sportatorium, Dallas, Texas, U.S.
54 Win 46–8 United States Wilson Dunn TKO 3 (6) 24 Jun 1936 United States Tech Field, San Antonio, Texas, U.S.
53 Win 45–8 United States George Brown TKO 4 (6) 23 Jun 1936 United States Tyler, Texas, U.S.
52 Win 44–8 United States Harold Murphy PTS 6 19 Jun 1936 United States Pocatello Armory, Pocatello, Idaho, U.S.
51 Win 43–8 United States Bob Fraser TKO 2 (6) 17 Jun 1936 United States Ada Co. Fairgrounds, Boise, Idaho, U.S.
50 Win 42–8 United States Tony Souza PTS 6 15 Jun 1936 United States McCullough's Arena, Salt Lake City, Utah, U.S.
49 Loss 41–8 United States Joe Louis KO 4 (15), 3:09 24 Sep 1935 United States Yankee Stadium, Bronx, New York, U.S.
48 Loss 41–7 United States James Braddock UD 15 13 Jun 1935 United States Madison Square Garden Bowl, Long Island City, New York, U.S. Lost NBA, NYSAC, The Ring, and lineal heavyweight titles
47 Win 41–6 Kingdom of Italy Primo Carnera TKO 11 (15), 2:16 14 Jun 1934 United States Madison Square Garden Bowl, Long Island City, New York, U.S. Won NBA, NYSAC, The Ring, and lineal heavyweight titles
46 Win 40–6 Nazi Germany Max Schmeling TKO 10 (15), 1:51 8 Jun 1933 United States Yankee Stadium, Bronx, New York, U.S.
45 Win 39–6 United States Tuffy Griffiths TKO 7 (10), 0:58 26 Sep 1932 United States Chicago Stadium, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
44 Win 38–6 United States Ernie Schaaf MD 10 31 Aug 1932 United States Chicago Stadium, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
43 Win 37–6 United States King Levinsky PTS 20 4 Jul 1932 United States Dempsey's Bowl, Reno, Nevada, U.S.
42 Win 36–6 United States Walter Cobb TKO 4 (10) 11 May 1932 United States Oakland Civic Auditorium, Oakland, California, U.S.
41 Win 35–6 United States Paul Swiderski TKO 6 (10) 26 Apr 1932 United States Olympic Auditorium, Los Angeles, California, U.S.
40 Win 34–6 New Zealand Tom Heeney PTS 10 22 Feb 1932 United States Seals Stadium, San Francisco, California, U.S.
39 Win 33–6 United States King Levinsky UD 10 29 Jan 1932 United States Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, U.S.
38 Win 32–6 United States Arthur De Kuh PTS 10 30 Dec 1931 United States Oakland Civic Auditorium, Oakland, California, U.S.
37 Win 31–6 United States Les Kennedy KO 3 (10) 23 Nov 1931 United States Oakland Civic Auditorium, Oakland, California, U.S.
36 Win 30–6 United States Johnny Risko PTS 10 9 Nov 1931 United States Seals Stadium, San Francisco, California, U.S.
35 Win 29–6 Portugal Santa Camarão KO 10 (10) 21 Oct 1931 United States Oakland Civic Auditorium, Oakland, California, U.S.
34 Win 28–6 United States Jack Van Noy TKO 8 (10) 23 Sep 1931 United States Oakland Civic Auditorium, Oakland, California, U.S.
33 Loss 27–6 Spain Paulino Uzcudun PTS 20 4 Jul 1931 United States Race Track Arena, Reno, Nevada, U.S.
32 Loss 27–5 United States Johnny Risko UD 10 5 May 1931 United States Public Hall, Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.
31 Win 27–4 United States Ernie Owens KO 2 (10) 7 Apr 1931 United States Keller Auditorium, Portland, Oregon, U.S.
30 Loss 26–4 United States Tommy Loughran UD 10 6 Feb 1931 United States Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, U.S.
29 Win 25–4 New Zealand Tom Heeney KO 3 (10) 16 Jan 1931 United States Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, U.S.
28 Loss 24–4 United States Ernie Schaaf UD 10 19 Dec 1930 United States Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, U.S.
27 Win 24–3 United States Frankie Campbell TKO 5 (10) 25 Aug 1930 United States Recreation Park, San Francisco, California, U.S.
26 Win 23–3 United States KO Christner KO 2 (10) 11 Aug 1930 United States Oaks Ballpark, Emeryville, California, U.S.
25 Loss 22–3 United States Les Kennedy PTS 10 15 Jul 1930 United States Olympic Auditorium, Los Angeles, California, U.S.
24 Win 22–2 United States Ernie Owens KO 5 (10) 25 Jun 1930 United States Oakland Civic Auditorium, Oakland, California, U.S.
23 Win 21–2 United States Buck Weaver KO 1 (10) 11 Jun 1930 United States Oakland Civic Auditorium, Oakland, California, U.S.
22 Win 20–2 United States Jack Linkhorn KO 1 (10) 28 May 1930 United States Oakland Civic Auditorium, Oakland, California, U.S.
21 Win 19–2 Republic of Ireland Tom Toner TKO 6 (10) 7 May 1930 United States Oakland Civic Auditorium, Oakland, California, U.S.
20 Win 18–2 United States Ernie Owens PTS 10 22 Apr 1930 United States Olympic Auditorium, Los Angeles, California, U.S.
19 Win 17–2 United States Jack Stewart KO 2 (10) 9 Apr 1930 United States Oakland Civic Auditorium, Oakland, California, U.S.
18 Win 16–2 United States Tiny Abbott KO 6 (10) 29 Jan 1930 United States Auditorium, Oakland, California, U.S.
17 Loss 15–2 United States Tiny Abbott DQ 3 (10) 15 Jan 1930 United States Arcadia Pavilion, Oakland, California, U.S.
16 Win 15–1 Italy Tony Fuente KO 1 (10) 30 Dec 1929 United States Arcadia Pavilion, Oakland, California, U.S.
15 Win 14–1 United States Chet Shandel KO 2 (10) 4 Dec 1929 United States Arcadia Pavilion, Oakland, California, U.S.
14 Win 13–1 United States Tillie Taverna KO 2 (10) 20 Nov 1929 United States Arcadia Pavilion, Oakland, California, U.S.
13 Win 12–1 United States Natie Brown PTS 6 6 Nov 1929 United States Arcadia Pavilion, Oakland, California, U.S.
12 Win 11–1 United States Alex Rowe KO 1 (6) 30 Oct 1929 United States Arcadia Pavilion, Oakland, California, U.S.
11 Win 10–1 United States Chief Caribou TKO 1 (6) 16 Oct 1929 United States Arcadia Pavilion, Oakland, California, U.S.
10 Win 9–1 United States George Carroll TKO 1 (6) 2 Oct 1929 United States Arcadia Pavilion, Oakland, California, U.S.
9 Win 8–1 United States Frank Rudzenski KO 3 (6) 25 Sep 1929 United States Arcadia Pavilion, Oakland, California, U.S.
8 Loss 7–1 United States Jack McCarthy DQ 3 (6) 4 Sep 1929 United States Arcadia Pavilion, Oakland, California, U.S.
7 Win 7–0 United States Al Red Ledford KO 2 (6) 8 Aug 1929 United States Arcadia Pavilion, Oakland, California, U.S.
6 Win 6–0 United States Benny Hill PTS 4 31 Jul 1929 United States Arcadia Pavilion, Oakland, California, U.S.
5 Win 5–0 United States Benny Hill PTS 4 24 Jul 1929 United States Arcadia Pavilion, Oakland, California, U.S.
4 Win 4–0 United States Al Red Ledford KO 1 (4), 2:02 18 Jul 1929 United States Oak Park Arena, Stockton, California, U.S.
3 Win 3–0 United States Tillie Taverna KO 1 (4), 2:01 4 Jul 1929 United States Oak Park Arena, Stockton, California, U.S.
2 Win 2–0 United States Sailor Leeds TKO 1 (4), 1:30 6 Jun 1929 United States Oak Park Arena, Stockton, California, U.S.
1 Win 1–0 United States Chief Caribou TKO 2 (4) 16 May 1929 United States Oak Park Arena, Stockton, California, U.S.

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Omaha Nebraska". Retrieved June 3, 2014.
  4. ^ Fellerath, David (2005-06-02). "Fight Snub". Slate. Retrieved 2010-01-02. "My father is Jewish and my mother is Scotch-Irish" said Baer.
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Livermore Heritage Guild".
  7. ^ a b c Brumbelow, Joseph, S. Buddy Baer – Autobiography, 2003
  8. ^ Muscles by Mail, Stewart Robertson, Family Circle Magazine, January 20, 1939, Vol.14, No. 3
  9. ^ a b Johnson, Catherine (2007). "FAQs". Archived from the original on 2007-09-29. Retrieved 2018-11-26.
  10. ^ Shand, Bob, Oakland Tribune, September 26–31, 1930
  11. ^ Oakland Tribune, September 26, 1930
  12. ^ Associated Press, September 9, 1932
  13. ^ "Family History & Genealogy Search - GenealogyBank".
  14. ^ Hunnicutt, Michael (2005-04-05). "Max Baer and the Death of Ernie Schaaf". International Boxing Research Organization. Archived from the original on 2007-04-19. Retrieved 2018-11-26.
  15. ^ "Jethro says Opie distorts Baer facts". New York Daily News. 2005-06-03. Archived from the original on 2010-06-26.
  16. ^ Dempsey, Jack. Oakland Tribune, June 9, 1933, p. 21
  17. ^ a b c Margolick, David. Beyond Glory: Joe Louis vs. Max Schmeling, and a World on the Brink, Knopf Doubleday Publishing (2005) pp. 39–40
  18. ^ video: documentary film
  19. ^ "Max Baer". Retrieved 2019-10-17.
  20. ^ video: "Max Baer vs Max Schmeling (short)"
  21. ^ Cavanaugh, Jack. Tunney: Boxing's Brainiest Champ and His Upset of the Great Jack Dempsey, Ballantine Books (2009) e-book
  22. ^ a b c Bret, David. Greta Garbo: A Divine Star, Robson Press, U.K. (2012) e-book
  23. ^ Oakland Tribune, June 21, 1934 p. 13
  24. ^ "Joe Louis vs. Max Baer - BoxRec". Retrieved 2020-03-14.
  25. ^ Moehringer, J.R. (January 7, 2007). "Mad Max – Los Angeles Times". Archived from the original on 10 April 2015.
  26. ^ Marcus, Norman. "Gunboat Smith: "White Heavyweight Champion of the World"". Retrieved 5 June 2012.
  27. ^ a b "Welcome to - The Man !!". Archived from the original on 2007-08-21.

Other sources

  • Los Angeles Times, March 30, 1934, pg. 12, Germany Bans Film of Baer
  • Los Angeles Times Magazine, Mad Max, J.R. Moehringer (Times Staff Writer), January 7, 2007
  • Sussman, Jeffrey. 2016. Max Baer and Barney Ross: Jewish Heroes of Boxing. Lanham, MD: Rowman & LIttlefield.

External links

  • Max Baer - CBZ Profile
  • Boxing Hall of Fame
  • Site about Max Baer
  • 'The Forgotten Champion' by Aaron Richardson
  • Professional boxing record for Max Baer from BoxRec
  • Max Baer on IMDb
  • Max Baer at Find a Grave
  • Max Baer at AllMovie
  • Watch Max Baer in Africa Screams
  • Fraternal Order of Eagles Charity Foundation
Preceded by
Primo Carnera
World Heavyweight Champion
June 14, 1934 – June 13, 1935
Succeeded by
James J. Braddock
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Bob Fitzsimmons
Youngest Dying Heavyweight Champion

November 21, 1959 – August 31, 1969
Succeeded by
Rocky Marciano
Retrieved from ""
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