Inducted on October 30, 1977
When about ten years of age, Ed visited county Wexford, Eire, with his parents, Catharine and John Kinsella, who were born there. Ed did not return to the U.S.A. until he was sixteen years old. By then, the family had moved to Harrison, N. J., where Ed soon started his pugilistic career.
He had eleven sisters and brothers, six of whom are still living. At first, Ed boxed under the name of “Ed Kinley” and later “Soldier Ed Kinley”. He really had no amateur bouts, for at sixteen, he started to box professionally, mostly at Troxler’s A.A. on Broad Street, Newark, N.]. Between this time and 1916, when he enlisted in the U.S. Armed Forces, Ed boxed several good men in his class. Due to a fire in his home, Ed’s boxing records of these years were lost.
He was assigned to “Battery E. 44th C.A.C.” at New London, Conn. There, under the title of “Soldier Ed Kinley”, he defeated George Ashe, at the Pioneer Sporting Club, N. Y. Also Al McCoy, the middleweight champion in New London. He also outpointed Jim Carroll at New London. Ed continued to make a name for himself and soon joined the u.S. Expeditionary Forces under Pershing’s First Army. His were among the first troops to land in France. The 44th Artillery was continually moving from one front to another, to check the heavy assaults by the Germans. While “over there”, Ed suffered severe attacks of poison-mustard gas, and while in the hospitals, he had to put up some stiff fights against the doctors. The condition of his legs was so bad, they wanted to amputate them, which Ed would not agree to.
He earned three gold service stripes, which signify 18 months’ service on foreign soil. He also earned the titles of “Middleweight and Light Heavy Weight Champion of the U. S. Army.
After his return to the U.S.A., Ed continued a successful career under the able supervision of his friend, manager and promoter, Jimmy DeForest.
He trained at Deforest’s Gym, at Long Branch, N.J. while Dempsey was training there for his bout with Willard, on July 4, 1919. Ed boxed many of the outstanding men of this time, namely, Jack London, Battling Levinsky, 2, Charlie Weinert, Sandy Williams, Clay Turner, Bartly Madden, Joe Bonds, Curley Maguire, Al Roberts, Martin Burke, Mike McTigue, Big Bill Jackson and other top-notchers.
Kinley’s boxing career lasted about twelve years in all. He boxed Ed West, Young Bob Fitzsimmons, Sailor Carroll, U.S.N., Al Grapin, Phil Krug, Al McCoy, George Ashe, Harry Greb, Ray Hatfield, Dave Kurts, Silent Martin, Sailor White, Larry Williams, Big Jim Healey.
Kinley was more of a scientific boxer than slugger. He often conceded many pounds in weight to his opponents. On March 4, 1920, Ed received a phone call at noon asking him to substitute that same night in a match against Gene Tunney at Jersey City. He accepted, even though he had had no time to train. He held his own with Gene for seven rounds, when the bout was stopped.
As Jimmy DeForest once described him, Ed Kinley was a wild tempered young man with a pleasing personality. He and many sportswriters of that time, agreed that Ed would have reached a much higher rung on the pugilistic ladder, had he not conceded so much weight to his opponents.
Ed is the oldest living member of the Kearny Elks Lodge #1050.
Boxing Record – Ed Kinley