Greb, Harry (1894-1926)

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Greb, Harry (1894-1926)

Edward Henry "Harry" Greb epitomized the Roaring Twenties. Middleweight champion by 1923, "The Pittsburgh Windmill" lived hard, played harder, and fought hardest. Greb made the sports pages for his myriad, perhaps even historically unparalleled, accomplishments inside of the ring, and he made the front pages for his antics outside of it. Affairs with married women, car crashes, drunken brawls, law suits: Greb was the original media bad boy. He once fought fellow Hall of Famer Mickey Walker outside a pub, several hours after their bruising title fight (Greb won the title fight, Walker the street brawl). His non-stop attack and indomitable fighting spirit seemed to carry over from the ring to his personal life, and in spite of his negative press (and maybe in part, because of it), Harry Greb was a beloved sports icon. According to boxing historian Bert Randolph Sugar, Ernest Hemmingway once accused another writer who did not know who Greb was of "not knowing one of our greatest Americans."

—Max Kellerman

Further Reading:

Fair, James R. Give Him to the Angels: The Story of Harry Greb. New York, Smith and Durrell, 1946.