From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Blackburn, Charles H. "Jack"

(born: 1883  -  died: 1942) 

Charles Henry Blackburn was born in Versailles, KY. He was a boxer who went by the name Jack. Blackburn weighed 135 pounds, but his fast hands and legs, along with his hooks and jabs, allowed him to fight bigger and heavier men. He claimed to have fought nearly 400 bouts between 1901 and 1923, losing few of them. In 1909 Blackburn was arrested for the murder of Alonso Polk and also charged with attempted murder for shooting Polk's wife and his own wife, Maude Pillion. Blackburn served nearly five years of a 15 year sentence; while in the pen he was the boxing instructor for the warden and his sons. Blackburn continued to box for another decade after his release. After his retirement, he was a boxing trainer/manager for many boxers, including Joe Louis, who named his daughter, Jacqueline, after Jack Blackburn. For more see Jack Blackburn, a cyberboxingzone website; The Boxing Register. International Boxing Hall of Fame official record book, 2nd ed., by J. B. Roberts & A. G. Skutt; and Joe Louis: the Great Black Hope, by R. Bak. Blackburn is in the picture on p. 59 in Bak's book. See full length photo of Charles H. Blackburn at


Cited in this Entry

NKAA Source: Boxing register: International Boxing Hall of Fame official record book
NKAA Source: Joe Louis: the Great Black Hope

Related Entries Citing this Entry

NKAA Entry:  Robb, Jackson

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Blackburn, Charles H. "Jack",” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed March 20, 2023,

Last modified: 2017-09-14 17:15:14