Sep. 1, 1923 Brockton Plymouth County Massachusetts, USA
Aug. 31, 1969 Newton Jasper County Iowa, USA
Professional Boxer. Heavyweight Champion of the World 1952-1956. One of History's greatest fighters, 'The Brockton Blockbuster' was born in Brockton Massachusetts in 1923 and won the Golden Gloves title as an amateur. Marciano fought low and out of a crouch, and although he was much shorter than his opponents he had fervent desire and a devastating right hand. He turned pro in 1947 and progressed steadily through the ranks defeating the likes of Roland Lastarza, Don Mogard, Ted Lowry and Joe Louis. In 1952 he challenged Jersey Joe Walcott for the Heavyweight Championship. The slick veteran Walcott knocked down Marciano in the first round and gave him a sustained beating for 12 rounds. In the 13th round, Marciano closed in on Walcott and uncorked a devastating right hand which put Walcott down for the count. As Champion he fought Don Cockell, a rematch with Lastarza, and Archie Moore. In an epic battle with Ezzard Charles, Marcianos nose was horribly split and was given 'one more round' by the referee to close matters. Marciano showing true grit did just that knocking out Charles in the 9th round. Marciano then retired in 1956 with a record of 49-0 with 43 KO's. He is the only Heavyweight Champion in history to retire undefeated. In 1969, Marciano boarded a single engine Cessna in Chicago for a flight to Des Moines, Iowa. Marciano wanted to get back to Fort Lauderdale to celebrate his 46th birthday. Shortly before landing, the plane crashed into a cornfield in Newton, Iowa. Marciano, his friend Frank Farrell, and the pilot Glenn Belz were all killed instantly. In 1990, 21 years after his death, Marciano was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame.