Original faded green ink pen signature and dedication by the famous heavyweight boxing champion and cultural icon of the 1920's, JACK DEMPSEY (1895-1983). The dedication reads "To the Old Boy himself my friend John Early Best Wishes Jack Dempsey Nov 22 -22 Memphis. Tenn", all written on top of a sepia-toned photo of the champ in his boxing days. Evidently the photo was long-ago cut down to become principally an outline, the top half of his body and lower legs dramatically standing out against a black background. Dempsey was world heavyweight champion from 1919 to 1926. After a long career in the ring, he became a celebrity restaurateur and philanthropist in his later life. A 1977 autobiography was published. See the Wikipedia extensive bio for much detail on Dempsey's life. Later autographs are fairly common but this being early and signed while he was champ, this is more unusual. The photo has a crease in the left portion well away from the body area. Measures 17 1/2" by 15 1/4" in modern day frame. Frame has slight wear. A most interesting and scarce classic sports collectible.
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