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Historic America Photography

Stories in Stone: Jack Johnson

Headstone for heavyweight champion Jack Johnson (1878-1946) in Graceland Cemetery, at 4001 N. Clark Street in Chicago, Illinois, the city’s premier burial ground. Johnson was born and raised in Galveston, Texas and became the first African American world heavyweight boxing champion from 1908 to 1915. In June 1913, Johnson was convicted of violating the Mann Act, a charge that many saw as racially motivated. President Donald Trump officially pardoned him in 2018. He died in a car crash in North Carolina in 1946 and is buried next to his first wife, Etta Duryea Johnson.

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