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Liston, Charging Police Harassment in Philadelphia, Moves to Chicago

Nov. 30, 1962 - Sonny Liston and his wife Geraldine moved to Chicago today because the heavyweight boxing champion of the world believes Philadelphia police are out to get him. Liston’s disenchantment with Philadelphia stemmed from three unhappy encounters with police and park guards in the last two years. In Chicago, the Listons will live on the South Side, not far from Comiskey Park. It was there that Sonny won the championship by knocking out Floyd Patterson in the first round on Sept. 25. “We’re leaving because I think the people in Chicago will accept me better than they did in Philadelphia,” Liston explained. “We’re leaving a lot of good friends behind, but I won’t be forgetting them.” The champion said he chose Chicago for several reasons. Both he and his wife have relatives there, and Mayor Richard J. Daley, Sonny said, had invited Liston to work for the city “on the youth committee, helping kids, making appearances and speeches, doing exhibitions to raise money for them and things like that.” “I don’t know,” he added, “if there’s a salary goes with it, but it won’t make any difference if there isn’t.” Mayor Daley, when asked today about the invitation, said, “I don’t know a thing about it.” Officials of the Mayor’s Commission on Youth Welfare also said they were mystified by Liston’s apparent reference to that agency.


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