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

Joe Louis Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, and Joe Louis Bottling Company

Beginning in 1952, Joe Louis Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, 86 proof, was a short-lived venture by then retired heavyweight boxer Joe Louis. He was owner of the Joe Louis Distilling Company in Philadelphia, PA, where the label was produced for about a year. The whiskey was bottled in Kentucky, and the last line on the bottle label read "Joe Louis Bottling Co., Lawrenceburg, Kentucky." By January 1953, the label read, "Joe Louis Distilling Co., Lawrenceburg, Kentucky." Miniature pairs of boxing gloves of various colors were used to promote the whiskey. The gloves were stamped with the Lawrenceburg bottling and distillery name. The whiskey was sold in different volumes, including fifths, pints, and half pints. Lucky Millinder [info] became a salesman for the product, and organized a band in 1952 to promote the whiskey. Millinder resigned from his salesman position in the summer of 1953. For more see "Lucky Millinder," Jet, 10/02/1952, p. 22; "Joe Louis launches new whiskey business," in Jet, June 19, 1952, p. 45; advertisement with Lawrenceburg Distilling Company name in Jet, 01/29/1953, p. 68; and advertisement in Arkansas State Press, 08/01/1952, p. 8.

Joe Louis also loaned his name to a soft drink, a dude ranch, a chicken shack in Detroit, MI, and a bar and restuarant in Harlem, NY.

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Anderson County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Lawrenceburg, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Outside Kentucky Place Name

Item Relations

Cited in this Entry

NKAA Source: Arkansas State press (newspapers)
NKAA Source: Jet (periodical)

Related Entries Citing this Entry

NKAA Entry: Russell, Harvey C., Jr.

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Joe Louis Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, and Joe Louis Bottling Company,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed June 22, 2024,

Last modified: 2020-07-13 15:41:39