Famous French boxer Georges Carpentier was born on January 12, 1894 in northern France. He broke free from his family’s working class background when he had his professional boxing debut at the age of 14. Fighting as a bantamweight or flyweight, Carpentier switched from the French savatte-style to traditional boxing. By 1913, Carpentier had won the French and European welterweight titles, the European middleweight, light heavyweight, and heavyweight titles.
The French people admired Carpentier not only for his skill in the ring, but also for his service as a pilot in World War I. Carpentier came to the United States in 1920 and became the first Frenchman to earn the world light heavyweight title. Jack Dempsey thwarted Carpentier’s attempt to win the world heavyweight title in 1921 in a fight that set a record in purse, attendance, and press coverage. Carpentier retired from boxing in 1926. He died in 1975 and was inducted into the Boxing Hall of Fame in 1991.