HBO Video is bringing us the story of the country’s first black sports star revered by both black and white fans this summer when the studio release Joe Louis: America’s Hero… Betrayed to DVD.
From the Great Depression through World War II and into the 1950’s, Louis served as a poster boy for the American way of life. His defeat of Germany’s Max Schmeling in 1938, which still resonates in the boxing world, was seen as democracy’s defeat of Nazism, boosting public morale and transforming Louis into an American hero. Louis held the world heavyweight title 11 consecutive years, successfully defending his title a record 25 straight times. His career record of 68-3 makes him one of the greatest heavyweights ever. “Joe Louis: America’s Hero…Betrayed” features interviews with family, friends, fight experts and celebrity fans, along with newsreel clips from before, during and after Louis’ reign, as well as rare footage from many of his great bouts including his two landmark fights with Schmeling.
Despite the respect Joe Louis received for his boxing talent and the tremendous impact he had on segregated America, his later life suffered numerous setbacks in the hands of the government and the IRS. Through it all, Louis carried himself with dignity and class.
This profile of Joe Louis, the greatest heavyweight boxer of his time who transcended not only his race, but also the sport of boxing, to personify Americas struggle with the Nazis during WWII will be available on July 29 for $19.98.