Dr. John LeCocq knocks out heavyweight champ Jack Dempsey at Children's Orthopedic Hospital in 1932.

  • By David Wilma
  • Posted 3/29/2004
  • HistoryLink.org Essay 4283
In 1932, Pediatrician Dr. John LeCocq (1897-1966) knocks out heavyweight boxing champion Jack Dempsey (1895-1983) at Children's Orthopedic Hospital without laying a glove on the fighter.

William Harrison "Jack" Dempsey won the world heavyweight boxing title in 1919 and lost it to Gene Tunney in 1926. Dempsey remained immensely popular and appeared in several Hollywood films. Dr. LeCocq told the story 40 years later:

"One Sunday morning the Champ was making a good will visit to the Children's Orthopedic Hospital. He came into the ward where I was changing a dressing on an open osteomyelitis [bacterial infection of the bone] wound of a little boy's leg. I said, 'Jack, would you like to see this?' In those days we didn't have penicillin and sulfa yet, and we put live maggots in the wound to eat away the dead tissue. The Champ walked over to the boy, took one look, keeled over and was out to the count of 10" (Times).

Sources: Margjorie McQuillan, "Opa John: Cancer Couldn't Keep Him Down," The Seattle Times, December 26, 1971, Magazine, pp. 12-13.

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