Born in Lawrenceville, GA. on July 7, 1921,
Charles never weighed more than 200 pounds, but many of
his early fights were against the world's top
middleweight and light heavyweight champions. In
fact, he won the 1939 AAU National middleweight title
before turning pro in 1940.
After military service during World War II,
Charles defeated Hall of Famer Archie Moore and avenged
losses to Lloyd Marshal and Jimmy Bivins to earn a
No.2 ranking at light in 1946. He fought five
light heavyweight champions, beating four of them, but
never got a crack at the title
Charles finally won the vacant NBA
heavyweight title by defeating Jersey Joe Walcott in
1949. He earned worldwide recognition as
heavyweight king the next year by decisioning Joe
Louis. After three successful defenses of the
undisputed crown, he lost the title in a third battle
After Walcott lost to Rocky
Marciano, Charles unsuccessfully challenged Marciano in two unforgettable fights, losing
both by decision.
Ezzard Charles died on
May 27, 1975 in Chicago, Illinois.