- Category : Business-Entrepreneur
- Type : GE
- Profile : 3/5 - Martyr / Heretic
- Definition : Single
- Incarnation Cross : RAX The Sphinx 1
Irish-born American professional boxing champion known as "Old Smoke," business entrepreneur, and politiican.
An only boy with seven sisters, Morrissey was born into squalid conditions. When he was three years old, his family moved to the Troy, NY area where they continued to live in poverty. The pugnaccous child found that fighting other street toughs was a way of survival and he earned a reputation for his skill at defeating others. Forced to work at an early age he landed jobs in the foundries. He moved to New York City where he earned his nickname because even after being pinned down over burning coals he never surrendered. Instead, he managed to best his opponent even with his severe injuries.He went on to professional rings where he captured the California championship in the 10th round on August 31, 1852. In San Francisco he began a gambling business that profited from his increasing fame in the ring. Returning to NY he began another gambling business and continued fighting. His fame was on the rise. On October 12, 1853 he was proclaimed champion of America after a nasty and protracted fight with an older former champion. After being implicated but not charged in the death of a Native American, he, his new wife (married in 1854) and son moved back to Troy, NY. But he wanted to clear his name and took on another fight on October 20, 1958 which he won. He quit boxing.
He had come under the influence of the Tammany Hall gang and made four successful attempts to run for public office, two for the US House of Representatives (1866 and 1868) and two for the US Senate. He continued his gambling businesses as well in New York and in the horse-racing world of Saratoga, NY.He became ill during his last political campaign in 1877 and died in Saratoga Springs on May 1, 1878 at 7:30 in the evening (according to an article in the NY Times archives) before the election could be held. He was only 47.
He was posthumously elected to to the Boxing Hall of Fame in 1954 and the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1996.