- Category : 1905-births
- Type : GE
- Profile : 1/3 - Investigating / Martyr
- Definition : Single
- Incarnation Cross : RAX Service 3
German boxing champion, the first and only German to win the world heavy-weight boxing championship on a foul from Jack Sharkey on 7/12/1930. Schmeling held the title until 1932, at which time he lost it to Sharkey. He is probably best remembered in the ring for two fights with the unbeaten Joe Louis, whom he defeated on 6/19/1936, knocking him out in the 12th round; two years later, on 6/22/1938, Louis kayoed Schmeling in the first round.
Schmeling turned pro in Germany in 1924 and won the German light heavyweight title in 1926. He also won the European 175-pound title and German heavyweight crown before coming to the United States to fight.
Hailed by Adolph Hitler as a symbol of "Aryan supremacy," Schmeling was unfairly associated with Nazi Germany. He served as a German paratrooper during World War II, and resumed his career when the war ended. He boxed until 1948 before retiring. Many years after the war, it was made public that on 11/09/1938, for four days, he hid several Jews in his Berlin apartment, risking his own life to do so.
Schmeling owned and ran a Coca-Cola bottling plant in Hamburg, and lives in nearby Hollenstedt with his wife Anny, whom he married in 1934. He retired in 1948 and was elected to the Boxing Hall of Fame in 1970.
Schmeling died at age 99 on February 2, 2005 at his home in Hollenstedt, Germany.