Jackie Fields

Jackie Fields ( born February 9, 1908 in Chicago, Illinois as John Jacob Finkelstein, † June 3, 1987 in Los Angeles ) was an American boxer. He was Olympic champion in the flyweight and became world champion in the welterweight division.


Fields grew up in Chicago in a Jewish community. After his father fell ill with tuberculosis, the family moved to Los Angeles, where he started with the sport of boxing. He then chose also his nickname. He began in 1921 with the boxes and took part in 1924 in a national boxing competition. There he achieved - despite a broken hand - the semi-final and qualified for the Olympic Games in Paris.


The Play Fields defeated in the semifinals only the later bronze medalist Pedro Quartucci from Argentina, before he met in the finals of his countryman Joe Salas and this also defeated on points. Fields was thus at age 16 the youngest boxer who won a gold medal in boxing at the Olympics. He finished a year later his amateur career with 51 wins from 54 fights and was a professional boxer.

Fields fought his way to a title fight of the National Boxing Association welterweight and resigned in March 1929 against Jack Thompson. In July of the same year he ran against welterweight champion Joe Dundee and won the fight. Fields lost the title in May 1930 after a defeat against Jack Thompson. In January 1932, he won the title again, this time against Lou Brouillard, who had beaten Thompson. Later in the year, Fields was involved in a car accident in which he lost an eye. He told this to anyone at first and lost his title a year later in February 1933 after a defeat against Young Corbett III. After this defeat, he fought only one more time, since his eye injury too much disabled him. He finished his career with 74 wins, 30 by knockout, of 87 fights, of which he lost only nine.

Later years

Fields got in his career total of $ 500,000 in premiums, which he invested in real estate. He was financially ruined by the Great Depression and lost his fortune. He got a job as assistant unit manager for 20th Century Fox and in the second half of the 1930s as a film cutter for MGM.

By 1949, he sold jukeboxes Wurlitzer, then he worked for the whiskey manufacturer J & B. In the 1950s he bought shares of a hotel in Los Angeles, for which he later worked as a Public Relations Director. He also worked for many years as Vice Chairman of the Nevada State Athletic Commission.

In the Maccabiah Games in 1965, he managed the American Boxer team. In 1977, he was inducted into the World Boxing Hall of Fame. As a Jew, he was inducted into the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame in 1979 and in 2004 he was finally elected to the International Boxing Hall of Fame. His Olympic victory was filmed in the movie The Crowd Roars 1939.