Joseph Louis Barrow (May 13, 1914 – April 12, 1981), better known as Joe Louis, was the world heavyweight boxing champion from 1937 to 1949. He is considered to be one of the greatest heavyweights of all time. Nicknamed the Brown Bomber, Louis helped elevate boxing from a nadir in popularity in the post-Jack Dempsey era by establishing a reputation as an honest, hardworking fighter at a time when the sport was dominated by gambling interests. Louis's championship reign lasted 140 consecutive months, during which he participated in 27 championship fights, 26 championship fights during his reign; the 27th, against Ezzard Charles, was a challenge to Charles' heavyweight title and so is not included in Louis' reign. All in all, Joe was victorious in 25 successful title defenses, a record for the heavyweight division. In 2005, Louis was named the greatest heavyweight of all time by the International Boxing Research Organization, and was ranked number one on The Ring's list of 100 Greatest Punchers of All Time.
Louis's cultural impact was felt well outside the ring.