Author, Actor, And Philanthropist
After four divorces, Moore married Joan Hardy in August 1955; the couple remained married for the rest of Moore's life. With the money from his title fights—the bout against Marciano alone brought in over $270,000—Moore invested in his own training camp located just northwest of San Diego, which he christened "The Salt Mine." Among the fighters who trained there were Cassius Clay (as future world heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali was known in the early 1960s) and George Foreman. Clay's stint at the Salt Mine was a brief one, as he refused to do the chores that were part of Moore's training regimen. Moore later fought against Clay in a November 1962 fight that left him reeling from a fourth-round, knockout punch. Moore had just one more professional fight after that, a March 1963 bout with Mike DiBiase that he won by a knockout in the third round. In 1964 Moore announced his retirement and fought just one exhibition match after that, a bout against Nap Mitchell in August 1965 when he was fifty-one years old. In all, his professional career, which began in 1936, spanned twenty-seven years. Although Moore's erratic career made statistical information difficult to verify, most sources counted 181 wins and 24 losses in his professional career. Moore himself claimed 193 victories in 228 bouts, with 140 knockout wins. In 1966 he was inducted into the United States Boxing Hall of Fame; an induction into the International Boxing Hall of Fame followed in 1990.
As Moore's boxing career drew to a close, he received an unexpected offer to star in the film adaptation of Mark Twain's classic novel The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn in the role of Jim, the runaway slave. When it was released in 1960 the film received lukewarm reviews, with Moore's performance judged to be better than the movie itself. Coinciding with the release of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Moore wrote an autobiography that was published as The Archie Moore Story by McGraw-Hill in 1960. The book detailed Moore's hard-luck childhood, his battles with physical and emotional adversity, and his eventual triumph in the boxing ring. The work also gave readers extensive physical training advice, including Moore's own "secret diet" that instructed its followers to drink sauerkraut juice every day and chew, but not swallow, the meat portions of their meals. His film appearance and autobiography made him into perhaps the best-known boxer of his generation.
Moore remained active as a trainer in the 1960s and 1970s. His most notable client was George Foreman, whom Moore accompanied to the famous "Rumble in the Jungle" fight with Muhammad Ali in 1974. In addition to his work as a trainer at the Salt Mine, Moore also devoted much of his time to philanthropic work after he retired from the ring. In 1967 he founded the Any Boy Can (ABC) program in San Diego to give underprivileged youth the chance to participate in sports programs. Moore took an active role in the ABC program as a mentor, coach, and inspirational speaker to its participants. In 1968 the mayor of San Diego awarded Moore the Key to the City in recognition of his work through the ABC program. Along with Leonard B. Pearl, Moore wrote a book detailing the ABC program, published in 1971 as Any Boy Can: The Archie Moore Story. The volume also discussed Moore's lengthy career and the development of his interests in civil rights. As he concluded the work, "I am doing what I can to bring about civil rights, to help the young and the old, to erase poverty, war and civil unrest, and then, when I see all
these things come about, then, and only then, will I be able to say that I am the happiest man in the world."
- Archie Moore - Awards And Accomplishments
- Archie Moore - Wins Light-heavyweight Title In 1952
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