Thursday, December 27, 2012
Sonny Liston, December 30, 1970
1962 World Heavyweight Champion Sonny Liston had been abused all his life and even in death his passing raises strange questions. Due to having to leave school at an early age because of his classmates' mockery of his illiteracy, he worked the land that his family sharecropped. His father had 25 children and inflicted heavy discipline on Sonny whose back bore scars even as an adult. At the age of 13 Liston left home to strike it out on his own but due to a lack of education and racism most jobs he could find were few and very exploitive. He then engaged in petty crime to make ends meet and when sent to prison learned boxing which he took upon his release. Before he was set to box a Canadian boxer, Sonny Liston was found dead by his wife Geraldine on January 5, 1971. He had been dead for days. Police ruled it a heroin overdose, but the autopsy results were inconclusive and police could not find any drug paraphernalia or needle that he would have used to inject the drug, and he was not a known drug user.