This is the first full-length biography of Jess Willard who won the heavyweight boxing title in 1915 by defeating Jack Johnson, the first black heavyweight champion. As such this book brings new light on Willard who became the most famous man in America as a result of his victory Jess Willlard was considered unbeatable in his day. He lost his title in 1919 to Jack Dempsey in one of the most violent defeats in boxing history. Willard attempted a come-back but was defeated again by Luis Firpo in 1923 and retired from the ring at that time. He died in 1968, largely forgotten by the boxing public. This work was made possible by the support of the Willard family, particularly James Willard Mace, Jess Willard's grandson, who provided family documents and photos, some of which are included in this book.
Arly Allen was President of Allen Press, Inc., a scholarly printer and publisher for many years until his retirement in 1993. He then began research on the early history of boxing and has published a number of articles on boxing. He lives in Lawrence, Kansas, USA.