James J. Braddock photograph taken in 1935. Image online courtesy U.S. Library of Congress.
I may not be a great fighter
but I ain’t a bum.
Commenting on his upcoming bout with Max Baer
A celebrity himself, who earned enormous sums for his columns and news reports, Runyon's favorable comments about a good song ("Thanks for the Memory") in a poorly reviewed movie (The Big Broadcast of 1938) helped to launch Bob Hope as a household name in the movie business. Runyon's comments about boxers - at the time the most popular athletes in the world - resonated with a public enduring the disastrous years of the Great Depression.
It was boxing which got Jim Braddock noticed. It was Damon Runyon who first called Braddock the "Cinderella Man."
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