Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Fundraiser for a Jersey Joe Walcott Statue in Camden

The Camden County Historical Society (New Jersey) is raising funds to construct a statue of Jersey Joe Walcott (Arnold Raymond Cream) in a sculpture garden that will be built on the south side of the historical society’s Park Boulevard campus in the city’s Parkside section.

Walcott was a professional fighter from 1930 to 1953, who called Camden and its surrounding suburbs home until his death in 1994. Walcott captured the World Heavyweight Title with a victory over Ezzard Charles on July 18, 1951 at Forbes Field in Pittsburgh. He held this title until 1952 when he was defeated by Rocky Marciano.

Following his retirement from professional boxing in 1953, Walcott performed a variety of jobs including actor, referee, and politician. He had the role of George in the 1956 film, The Harder They Fall, alongside Humphrey Bogart and Max Baer. Between 1947 and 1979, he refereed 15 boxing matches that included legends such as Muhammad Ali, Sonny Liston, Floyd Patterson, and Carlos Ortiz.

In 1971, Walcott was elected the first African-American Sheriff of Camden County, a position he served in until 1974. He later served as the chairman of the New Jersey State Athletic Commission, a position he held until 1984.

Walcott was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1990. Walcott died in Camden at the age of 80 on February 25, 1994.

If you are interested in donating to this great cause, please visit the project's official GoFundMe page.

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