Benny Leonard

Born - Apr 7, 1896   |   Died - Apr 18, 1948   |  

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Known as the "Wizard of the Ghetto," Benny Leonard (born Leiner) won the World's Lightweight Boxing Championship six years in a row, from 1917 to 1923. In 1920, Leonard got to strut his stuff in movies as well, starring in the low-budget serial The Evil Eye, an enterprise undoubtedly inspired by Jack Dempsey's recent Daredevil Jack (1920). But unlike Dempsey, Leonard was hardly leading man material and he quickly returned to the ring. According to some reports, the veteran fighter died of a heart attack while refereeing a boxing match at Madison Square Garden in 1947.