What We Talk About When We Talk About Jack Dempsey

Because we here at Karen Carpenter Died For Your Sins are nothing if not eclectic, we’d like to take a moment to point you in the direction of A Flame of Pure Fire: Jack Dempsey and the Roaring ’20s. (Yes, we do like sports, but only from olden times. Which is why we know who Ben Hogan is, but not any modern golfer except Tiger.)

Dempsey, you see, wasn’t just a hunky slab of powerful beefcake or an honorary street name on 49th Street at Broadway in NYC. Like Peggy Hopkins Joyce, he was emblematic of the rough-and-tumble ’20s, a poor boy who rose to wealth and greatness and even dabbled in Hollywood–though he was more successful when dabbling in Hollywood actresses. he endured more than his fair share of scandal, from questionable referee decisions to accusations of being a “slacker” by staying stateside during WWI and working in a factory while boxing. His life was sprawling, fascinating, and infuriating–and as such, a perfect microcosm of the times in which he lived.

Also, it didn’t hurt that he looked like this:

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