Former heavyweight champ Smokin’ Joe Frazier has died at age 67.
Known primarily for his highly publicized fights with Muhammed Ali, Frazier died from complications of liver cancer.
Frazier won 32 fights, 27 by knockouts, and lost four times — twice to Ali in furious bouts and twice to George Foreman. He also recorded one draw.According to author Norman Mailer, Frazier had “the rugged decent life-worked face of a man who had labored in the pits all his life.” He was big and ugly, but a hard and committed fighter in an age when the Heavyweight Championship was much more important than it is today.
Frazier maintained his adverse relationship with Ali long after they were no longer in the ring. Recently he changed his view of Ali:
“I said a lot of things in the heat of the moment that I shouldn’t have said. Called him names I shouldn’t have called him. I apologize for that. I’m sorry. It was all meant to promote the fight.”
Back in the late seventies, when I was director of the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, MA, Norris Church Mailer, then the wife (I guess she was his last) of Norman Mailer, was on my fundraising list, as were most NYC celebrities. As I recall she was a very nice woman and mother to one of Mailer’s several children.
Mailer died three years ago and Norris Church Mailer died on Sunday, of gastrointestinal cancer that she had battled for 11 years, in Brooklyn Heights, NY.
She was a former Wilhelmina model who met Mailer while getting an autograph 0n his book on Marilyn Monroe. Her own memoir, “A Ticket to the Circus,” was published earlier this year.
- Norris Church Mailer dead at 61 (latimesblogs.latimes.com)
- READING AROUND: D.C. arts leaders talk books (politico.com)
- Headlines: November 22, 2010 [Morning Edition] (themorningnews.org)
- Norris Mailer, widow of Norman Mailer, dead at 61 (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- They Were Perfect Together (thedailybeast.com)