Jack Dempsey was born William Harrison Dempsey in 1895 in Manassa, CO. He left home when he was sixteen to travel the west and on his freight train trips, he learned how to fight simply to survive. His fighting career took off when he encountered Jack \"Doe\" Kerns, a fight manager. Under the guidance of Kerns, Dempsey knocked out several well-known fighters, including Jess Willard, early in his career. During his career, Dempsey amassed forty-nine knock-outs, twenty-five of which took place in the first round. On September 18, 1941, he visited Greenville with the Cole Brothers Combined Circus. Huge crowds gathered around the headliner just to shake the hand of the world-famous boxer.