Jake LaMotta has passed away today on Wednesday, September 20th, 2017.
The world famous “Bronx Bull” took a championship boxing career, and parlayed it into becoming an author and television personality, and parlayed that into Martin Scorsese making a movie about this life. He’s basically a unicorn. The type of famous that only a select few fighters could ever become. That unique blend of charisma, zeitgeist, and fighting spirit. His boxing career as the foil to Sugar Ray Robinson endeared him to generations of boxing fans. But his personality cemented his legend. Boxing in the 1940s and 50s was such a drastically different sport (as evidenced by the six fights shared by “Sugar” Ray and LaMotta). When Jake LaMotta testified about throwing fights in front of Congress, it brought national awareness to organized crime’s involvement in boxing.
After the years of boxing fame, and the years of being a comic and TV personality, LaMotta spent the later years of his life as a living legend. He ‘wrote’ a sequel to “Raging Bull”. He never missed on an opportunity to mention the movie that won Robert De Niro an Academy Award. He appeared at night clubs, on late night talk shows, book signings, and Q&As. Basically, he spent his time being a well-liked and respected boxing legend.
But Jake LaMotta in the 2000s had a perspective and wisdom that not enough people saw. As his fame faded after all those long year’s in the spotlight, he was at his most honest and introspective. Just three years ago, filmmakers caught up with LaMotta. Here is their fantastic interview with the 92-year-old boxing champion, giving the most truthful interview of his life.
If you are unfamiliar with Jake LaMotta’s career check out some highlights of “The Raging Bull” in action:
If you want to see Jake in action while he was on the late night TV circuit, chumming it up with Mike Tyson and selling his book, check this appearance out below: