top of page

Former Boxing Champion Jimmy Braddock Is a Longshoreman Again

Sept. 21, 1963 - They once called Jim Braddock the “Cinderella Man” because, after working as a longshoreman, he won the heavyweight boxing title and earned almost $1 million until his retirement in 1938. Today, at the age of 58, James J. Braddock was back on the waterfront. He is one of 140 men employed by the American Bridge division of the U.S. Steel Corporation to work on the massive steel components that will float by barge across the harbor next month to form the upper and lower decks of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. He handles a number of tasks, including operating a crane and maintaining a welding machine. At work, his clothes get greasy, his fingernails black, and his arms so dirty it is hard to see the tattoos he got one night in the Bowery in 1921 when he was a boy of 16. “What the hell, I’m a working man,” the former champion explained today. “I worked as a longshoreman before I was a fighter, and now I need the money, so I’m working again. I always liked hard work; there’s nothing wrong with it.” He says he has a “few thousand” in the bank. He still owns the $14,000 home he bought in North Bergen shortly after getting knocked out by Joe Louis on June 22, 1937. But he lost $15,000 on a Manhattan restaurant, Braddock’s Corner, and the money he put into a marine supply house proved not to be a profitable venture. So now, being a member in good standing with Local 825 — Newark’s branch of the International Union of Operating Engineers — he is again using his hands.


bottom of page