Tex Rickard: Wikis

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Tex Rickard.

George Lewis "Tex" Rickard (January 2, 1870 – January 6, 1929) was an American boxing promoter, founder of the New York Rangers National Hockey League (NHL) franchise, and builder of Madison Square Garden III in New York City. During the 1920s, Tex Rickard was the leading promoter of the day, and he has been compared to P.T. Barnum and Don King. Sports journalist Frank Deford has written that Rickard "first recognized the potential of the star system."[1]

Contents

Early years

Rickard was born in Kansas City, Missouri. His youth was spent in Sherman, Texas, where his parents moved when he was four.[2]

As a young man, Rickard went to the Klondike during the gold rush of the 1890s and opened a gambling hall. By 1906, Rickard was running a saloon in Goldfield, Nevada, where he promoted his first boxing match.[2]

Rickard temporarily left both boxing and the United States in the early 1910s. This was the time of Jack Johnson's tumultuous reign as heavyweight champion. With the heavyweight champion a fugitive from American justice (Johnson fled following his conviction on Mann Act charges), Rickard decided that there was little money to be made promoting boxing in the U.S. and went to South America. Rickard returned after Jess Willard dethroned Johnson in 1915.

Rickard and 1920s boxing

In 1925, Tex secured the rights to promote live events from Madison Square Garden in New York.

In the 1920s, the best boxing promoters and managers were instrumental in bringing boxing to new audiences and provoking media and public interest. Arguably the most famous of all three-way partnerships (fighter-manager-promoter) was that of Jack Dempsey (Heavyweight Champion, 1919–1926), his manager Jack Kearns, and Rickard as promoter. Together they grossed US$ 8.4 million in only five fights between 1921 and 1927 and ushered in a "golden age" of popularity for professional boxing in the 1920s. They were also responsible for the first live radio broadcast of a title-fight (Dempsey v. Georges Carpentier in 1921).

A key business partner of Rickard's in this period was a concert and boxing promoter named Jess McMahon, who was the grandfather of current World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) promoter Vince McMahon. However, due to Rickard disliking the sport of professional wrestling, he did not co-promote wrestling events with McMahon, and it was not until 1935 that McMahon's son, Vincent J. McMahon, would begin promoting his Capitol Wrestling Corporation events. In spite of these objections to pro wrestling, Rickard and McMahon did promote boxing matches like the December 11, 1925, light-heavyweight championship match between Jack Delaney and Paul Berlenbach.

John L. "Ike" Dorgan was Rickard's press agent[3] and, later, publicity manager for the Madison Square Garden.

Rickard and hockey

Tex Rickard was awarded an NHL franchise in 1926 to compete with the now-defunct New York Americans. The team was immediately dubbed "Tex's Rangers", and the nickname stuck. "Tex's Rangers" were an immediate success, winning a division title in their first season and the Stanley Cup in their second season.

Other achievements

In 1928, Rickard opened "Boston Madison Square Garden," better known as the Boston Garden. Rickard also founded the South America Land and Cattle Company and the Rickard Texas Oil Company.

Death

The grave of Tex Rickard in Woodlawn Cemetery

Rickard was engaged in fight promotion in Miami Beach when he died on 1929-01-06, of complications following an appendectomy.[2] He was interred at Woodlawn Cemetery, Bronx, NY

References

  1. ^ Deford, Frank (1971), Five Strides On The Banked Track, Little, Brown and Company, p. 110 
  2. ^ a b c RICKARD, GEORGE LEWIS (1871-1929), The Handbook of Texas Online
  3. ^ Roberts, Randy. Jack Dempsey: The Manassa Mauler. Urbana, Ill.: University of Illinois Press, 2003, p. 140. ISBN 0252071484, ISBN 9780252071485

External links

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