Inducted on November 1, 1981
You have asked a resume of the Old Professor’s romance with boxing.
He goes all the way back to Joe Jeanette, the old Jersey heavyweight. He crashed a fight club in old west Hoboken, a fight club run in a car barn by Jeanette himself who fought the great Kid Norfolk in the feature bout.
Three years later he was cartoonist on the Dispatch and drew fight cartoons on the Dempsey-Carpentier fight for sports editor Jackie Farrell. In November of 1922, Farrell left the Dispatch to go to the New York Daily News and Lud was made sports editor.
He now began covering as well as cartooning fights at the old Oakland A.A. in Jersey City and other Hudson county clubs. Among the fighters he cartooned were such champions as ‘Gene Tunney, Pancho Villa, Battling Siki, Tommy Loughran, Mike McTigue and local fighters such as Jimmy Braddock and Gus Lesnevich, Two-Ton Tony Galento; Paul Cavaliere; Young Zazzerino; Irish Bobby Brady; Irish Johnny Curtin; Jimmy Francis; Harry Martone and Stanley Poreda.
In 1924 his cartoons caught the attention of Frank Menke of King Features syndicate and he was signed to illustrate the story of Sam Langford’s life. This was his first big break.. Some ten years later, after an illustrated series titled “The 10 Greatest Fights I’ve Seen,” he wrote and illustrated “Relief to Royalty,” the story of James J. Braddock’s wise to world’s heavyweight tite. In the late 1930s, he contributed many articles on Jersey boxing to the Everlast Boxing Guide and also to Ring Magazine and other boxing publications as well as fight programs for some Madison Square Garden fights.
World War II and television which followed soon thereafter-put the kibosh on local boxing. But the fighters he had helped sponsor by running The Dispatch Golden Gloves from 1937 to 1942 were now forming veteran boxers’ organizations and he helped considerably when Frankie Nelson, Young Shugrue, Frankie Burns and Stanley Poreda organized Ring 14. He was the toastmaster for most of their dinners and he was toastmaster for more than a dozen dinners of the New Jersey Boxing Writers Association of which he was a founder along with half a dozen other Jersey boxing writers and sports editors.
From 1958 on up until the hiatus of two years ago his toastmastership along with his cover drawings for the New Jersey Boxing Writers annual dinner (many of which may be found on sale in flea markets today at good prices) featured the dinners which honored such figures as Jersey Joe Walcott and Chuck Wepner; Commissioner Abe Greene; Mike Rossman; Lou Duva; Christy Eilliott and Charley Gellman among others. The dinners were first held at Ballantine’s in Newark, then at Snuffy’s in Scotch Plains and more recently at Don’s 21 in Newark-where it is planned to resume in the near future, as soon as some Jersey fighters gain enough prominence.
Although Lud is semi-retired now he is not out of the boxing picture. He still bangs out a weekly cartoon and column (mostly on boxing) every Saturday for The Dispatch.
His boxing library, considered one of the best, if not the best, in the Eastern states, contains life stories on every heavyweight champion since John L. Sullivan with the exception of Ingemar Johannson and Floyd Patterson. And Larry Holmes – whose biography will undoubtedly be added to the list soon.
In 1970, Joseph Hurley, an assemblyman from Hudson County, who had sponsored the Jersey boxing law back in 1917, asked Gov. Cahill to name Lud state boxing commissioner. Two other newspapermen, John Hall and Abe Greene had held the post in years gone by. Lud would have been the third-but, even though others pressed Cahill, and later Gov. Byrne, he never got the appointment.
On June 22, 1974, the same night they honored old timers Jim Farley and Jack Dempsey, Lud was elected a lifetime member of the New York Boxing Writers Association, of which he was a member, too.