“Sugar Ray Robinson" Photograph Signed Champion Boxer
SUGAR RAY ROBINSON (1921–1989). American Professional Boxer.
Impressive glossy, Gelatin Silver Photograph Signed, “Sugar Ray Robinson," no date, measuring 8.5" x 11", Choice Extremely Fine. This choice image showing an action portrait of prize fighter Sugar Ray Robinson at the gym. The boxer has inscribed boldly in ink, "Best wishes Sugar Ray Robinson" over his torso.
“Sugar Ray” Robinson was born Walker Smith Jr. in Detroit, Michigan (according to his autobiography), to Walker Smith Sr. and Leila Hurst. His father was a cotton, peanut, and corn farmer in Georgia, who moved the family to Detroit where he initially found work in construction. According to Robinson, Smith Sr. later worked two jobs to support his family cement mixer and sewer worker. "He had to get up at six in the morning and he'd get home close to midnight. Six days a week. The only day I really saw him was Sunday...I always wanted to be with him more."
His parents separated and he moved with his mother to the New York City neighborhood of Harlem at the age of twelve. Robinson originally aspired to be a doctor, but after dropping out of De Witt Clinton High school in ninth grade he switched his goal to boxing. When he was 15, he attempted to enter his first boxing tournament but was told he needed to first obtain an AAU membership card. However, he could not procure one until he was eighteen years old. He received his name when he circumvented the AAU's age restriction by borrowing a birth certificate from his friend Ray Robinson. Subsequently told that he was "sweet as sugar" by a lady in the audience at a fight in Watertown, New York, Smith Jr. became known as "Sugar" Ray Robinson.