Joe Louis held the heavyweight boxing championship longer than any other fighter and defended it a record 25 times. During the 1930s and 1940s, the owner of the heavyweight title belt was the most prominent sports competitor not aligned with a team sport. In addition, Louis helped make breakthroughs for African American athletes and bridge the gap of understanding between whites and blacks. During World War II he not only raised money for Army and Navy relief, entertained millions of troops as a morale officer, but became a symbol of American hope and strength. In a famous speech Louis pronounced that the United States would win the war ""Because we're on God's side."" The simple phrase helped energise the populace and some said that Louis ""named the war."" The biography of Louis outlines his rise from poverty in Alabama to becoming the best-known African American of his times and describes how an uneducated man, simple at his core, became so articulate and always ended up on the side of right in the battles he fought, with fist or voice.
Lew Freedman has worked on staffs of several newspapers, including the Chicago Tribune, Anchorage Daily News and Philadelphia Inquirer. The winner of more than 250 journalism awards, Freedman has written 52 books. He lives in Columbus, Indiana, USA.