Coolidge Meets Gene Tunney, November 19, 1927

After beating World Champion Jack Dempsey for the second time that fall of 1927, former Marine and then-current World Heavyweight Boxing Champion, Gene Tunney, was brought to meet President Coolidge at the White House. The story of their meeting, recounted in newspapers at the time, reads…

Santa Ana Register, 11-19-1927, page 8. Courtesy of newspapers.com.

Santa Ana Register, 11-19-1927, page 8. Courtesy of http://www.newspapers.com.

It is an interesting similarity that after winning all but 1 of his fights, including his second defense of the World Heavyweight Title the following year, Mr. Tunney, like the man he met in the White House, quietly walked away. Like Coolidge, he remained undefeated, at the peak of his success and content with what he had accomplished.

Gene Tunney at the National Library of Ireland's Long Room Library, Trinity College, Dublin, August 24, 1928.

Gene Tunney at the National Library of Ireland’s Long Room Library, Trinity College, Dublin, August 24, 1928.

Tunney was a voracious reader. Here he is taking a few moments in training for his rematch against Dempsey to read and think.

Tunney was a voracious reader, who loved the classics. Here he is taking a few moments in training for his rematch against Dempsey to read and think.

Gene Tunney married Polly Lauder upon his retirement from the ring, October 3, 1928. One of the great romantic matches of the 1920s, the Tunneys were married for 50 years, until his death at age 81 in 1978. She would live to see age 100, passing in 2008.

Gene Tunney married Polly Lauder upon his retirement from the ring, October 3, 1928. One of the great romantic matches of the 1920s, the Tunneys were married just over 50 years, until his death at age 81 in November 1978. She would live to see age 100, passing in April of 2008.

It would be well to learn from the example of Tunney and Coolidge, men in very different work but who, having fought and won, kept humility, perspective and a healthy measure of contentment for life’s seasons. After all, they knew, there was a time for every purpose under heaven:

“A time to plant,

And a time to pluck what is planted…

“A time to break down,

And a time to build up…

“A time to gain,

And a time to lose;

“A time to keep,

And a time to throw away;

“A time to tear,

And a time to sew;

“A time to keep silence,

And a time to speak;

“A time to love,

And a time to hate;

“A time of war,

And a time of peace”

— Ecclesiastes 3:3-6

One thought on “Coolidge Meets Gene Tunney, November 19, 1927

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