Inducted on June 15, 1969

Joe Jeannette worked as an apprentice to his father, a blacksmith, and then as a coal truck driver before he became a boxer.

In 1904, at the age of 25, Jeannette began his boxing career on a dare, fighting a boxer named Arthur Dickinson. Although Jeannette lost, he decided to make boxing his career.

Jeannette held the World Colored Heavyweight Championship.

Jeannette fought Sam Langford 14 times, Jack Johnson 10 times, Battling Jim Johnson 10 times, Sam McVea 5 times and Harry Wills 3 times.

Jeannette knocked out Kid Cotton in four rounds in 1913 and two rounds in 1916. He was scheduled to fight Cotton at the Vanderbilt A.C. in New York City on February 15, 1915, but no result has been found.

In 1923, Jeannette became the first African American referee and judge licensed by New York State.

From 1924 until 1949, Jeannette owned a boxing gym on 27th Street and Summit Avenue in Union City, New Jersey, where he trained numerous boxers, including Jim Braddock.

Joe Jeannette Historical Marker in Union City, New Jersey

Jeannette, who was fond of automobiles, eventually converted his boxing gym into a garage. He also operated a fleet of rental limousines and then a taxi company named Adelaide, after his wife, which was located at 522 Clinton Avenue, now New York Avenue, in Union City.

Jeannette had a street named after him in Union City. Jeannette Street is located between Summit Avenue and Kennedy Boulevard.

On April 17, 2009, the 100th anniversary of Jeannette’s 49th-round knockout of Sam McVea, a historical marker was dedicated where Jeannette’s former residence and gym once stood. It is Union City’s first historical marker.

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