Jake LaMotta, the famous middleweight boxing champion of the 90’s was known for his fierce fighting style. He became popular for the way he attacked his opponents like a bull. He didn’t have the ideal structure of a boxer but he always delivered; beating his opponents to the ground and making his inhumane fans chant for more. In fact, LaMotta was a figure to reckon with. Here is his bio, net worth, information on his family, wife, brother and other quick facts.
LaMotta Became a Professional Boxer At The Age of Nineteen, What Was His Net Worth Before Death?
Giacobbe ‘Jake’ LaMotta was born on July 10, 1922, in the Bronx neighbourhood of New York City. He is of Italian ancestry but has an American nationality. Jake had a terrible childhood as his father constantly threw punches at him and his mother like they were his opponents. And when he was done, an angry LaMotta would go into the street to take out his anger on other kids in the neighbourhood.
His troubled childhood led him to begin stealing. In one of his burglary attempts, he was caught and detained in a juvenile prison but soon after he was released, Jake continued from where he left off. He robbed people and even confessed to raping a woman. He was encouraged by his father to constantly fight in the streets and his reputation for fighting earned him some cash to pay bills at home as a teenager, LaMotta became a professional boxer at age nineteen. He took his violent and wild nature with him to the ring and he came down on his opponents like a hurricane. He was known to endure lots of punches to the face as if he is about to pass out and just when his opponents think they are gaining the victory, LaMotta will rise to defeat them. His net worth is put at about $10 million.
Who are Members of His Family (His Wife, Son and Brother)?
Jake LaMotta was the son of an Italian who sold vegetables. He was one among five siblings. His younger brother, Joey LaMotta, who was born April 27, 1925, fought a little as a heavy amateur from 1945 to 1946. He won 32 matches, lost 5 and had two draws before leaving to help Jake as his manager until he died on December 29, 1991. The two were pretty close to each other and it was Joey who introduced Jake to Vikki who later became his second wife and the love of his life. His nephew, Joey’s son John Lamota fought as a boxer for a short time and later became an actor. Following his father and uncle’s footsteps, he fought as an amateur in the 2001 Golden Championship Tournament.
He married seven times and had six children – two sons and four daughters – Jake Jr., Joseph, Christi, Jacklyn, Elisa and Mia. Upon his brother, Joey’s death in 1991, his first son, Jake LaMotta Jr. became his manager but was later diagnosed with liver cancer and he died in 1998. His second son Joe, after serving a jail term, returned to take care of his father and became a chef, preparing his own recipes which made him travel a lot with his father, Jake. But tragedy struck again and Jake LaMotta received news of his son Joe’s death in a Swissair Flight 111 air crash.
Even though he married seven different women, his most popular marriage was the one with Vikki. They were married for 10 years, from 1947 to 1957. She was his second wife and she recalls that they had an enjoyable marriage until LaMotta began to beat her. proving that the fruit never falls far from the tree. His career had slowed down for a while and he took out his frustration on her. At the time, he was constantly jealous of his young and beautiful wife. His jealousy fueled his anger for a fellow boxer whom he beat up in an extraordinarily violent way in one of their matches because his wife admired his opponent as being handsome. Despite their failed marriage, Vikki only recalls pleasant memories of how she was dominated by his love. She says he knew how to make her laugh and feel like a woman. Her love for him made her raise their sons without any iota of hate for their father.
His Boxing Career
On February 5, 1943, LaMotta got his revenge over the undisputed champion, Sugar Ray Robinson when he knocked him down. He was the first boxer to defeat Robinson, nobody ever knocked Ray down, but LaMotta single-handedly did it to pay him back for defeating him in his first match as a boxer a year earlier – October 1942. The fight took place at Madison Square Garden, New York. The two went on to fight four more times – February 26, 1943 (three weeks after the LaMotta’s victory over Robinson), February 23, 1945, September 26, 1945, and February 14, 1951 (St. Valentine’s Day Massacre). Robinson won all four, howbeit, with controversial unanimous decisions.
LaMotta lost to Billy Fox in November 1947 but the fight was fixed and LaMotta was suspended by the New York State Athletic Commission. In June 1949, he defeated Marcel Cerdan and became the World Middleweight champion. Cerdan did get a chance to reclaim his title but died in an air crash on his way to the fight in the United States. LaMotta then defended against Tiberio Mitri in July 1950 and also against Laurent Dauthuille, two months later in September of the same year – 1950. His fight with Dauthuille was dubbed the ‘Fight Of The Year’. He lost the World Middleweight title to his arch-enemy, Ray Robinson in the fight dubbed ‘St. Valentine’s Day Massacre’.
He ventured into light heavyweight boxing after losing his middleweight title and did badly against Bob Murphy, Norman Hayes and Gene Hairston. In the rematches, he defeated all three of them but on December 1952, he was knocked down by Danny Nardico for the first time in his career. He retired in 1954 after losing to Billy Kilgore.
His life and career inspired Martin Scorsese to film his biography in 1980. The film which was titled, The Raging Bull portrayed Jake LaMotta as a hoodlum who was merciless in all he did and his ruthlessness was unrivalled. The movie was considered by many to be the best film of the 90’s and Robert DeNiro, who played Jake LaMotta received an Oscar for how he interpreted the role in the movie.
Jake LaMotta Post Boxing, Acting Career and How He Died
Upon retiring from professional boxing, he owned bars and did standup comedy because apart from his ability to fight ruthlessly, he is amazingly funny and is also a good actor. He featured in over 15 films including The Hustler (1961), Chivato (1961), House in Naples (1965), Firepower (1979), Hangmen (1987), among others. Jake LaMotta died in a nursing home in Florida at the age of 95. He battled with pneumonia and eventually gave up the ghost on September 19, 2017.
Did You Know That:
- LaMotta became a member of the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1990.
- He won 83 matches and lost 19.
- He had an aggressive character which he took everywhere he went
- Despite his deformed upbringing, LaMotta did a good job as a father
- LaMotta was born on July 22, 1922, and died at the age of 95 on September 19, 2017, with his seventh wife Denise Baker by his side
- He died of difficulty dealing with pneumonia
- He was still actively signing autographs until his death
- LaMotta despite his ruthless nature was a very good cook; he loved to stay at home to cook for his kids.
- LaMotta claimed that his love for Vikki, his second wife led to the failure of his successive marriages
- He married Denise Baker, his fiancée who is 30 years younger in 2013.
- He had a long time rivalry with Ray Robinson and only defeated him once.