Emile Griffith

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Griffith in 2008

Emile Alphonse Griffith (February 3, 1938 – July 23, 2013) was an American boxer. He was the first person from the U.S. Virgin Islands ever to become a world champion in boxing.[1]

Griffith later won the world middleweight title and claimed an early version of the junior middleweight world championship, a claim that has not been universally recognized although some consider Griffith a three-division champion fighter.

Early life[change | change source]

Griffith was born on February 3, 1938 in Saint Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands.[2] He was raised in New York City.

Personal life[change | change source]

In 1971, two months after they met, Griffith married Mercedes (Sadie) Donastrog, who was then a member of the dance troupe "Prince Rupert and the Slave Girls." Griffith adopted Donastorg's daughter.[2] Griffith said he was attracted to men and women.

Attack[change | change source]

In 1992, he was beaten and almost killed on a New York City street, after leaving a gay bar near the Port Authority Bus Terminal. He was in the hospital for four months after the assault. It was not clear if the violence was motivated by homophobia.[3]

Death[change | change source]

Griffith died on July 23, 2013 from complications of dementia in a hospital in Hempstead, New York, aged 75.[1]

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 "Former boxing champion Emile Griffith dies at 75". Fox News. Retrieved 23 July 2013.
  2. 2.0 2.1 The Shadow Boxer Sports Illustrated April 18, 2005
  3. Emile Griffith Benny Paret and the Fatal Fight at New York Times.com

Other websites[change | change source]