Remembering Rocky Marciano

Aug 29, 2019 2412

BY: Mike Chapman

A public ceremony will be held at 10 a.m., Friday, August 30, in Newton, to honor the memory of legendary world heavyweight boxing champion Rocky Marciano, who died in a plane crash here 50 years ago. 

A large information sign will be dedicated, with a large rock sitting next to it stating Rocky’s record of 49-0, with 43 knockouts. Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds has declared “Rocky Marciano Remembrance Day” in the state and Newton Mayor Mike Hansen has declared “Rocky Marciano Day” here.

Newton resident Mike Chapman, author and historian, will summarize Marciano’s career and introduce special guests, including Dan Gable, voted Iowa’s No. I sports figure by Sport Illustrated in 2000; Steve Eden, former National Golden Gloves boxing champion from Cedar Rapids, and Willie Farrell, nationally-known comedian who is the brother of Frankie Farrell, who was also killed in the crash, as was the pilot, Glenn Belz.

In addition, a letter will be read that was sent by Rocky Marciano Jr., the champion’s son who lives in Florida.

The event was made possible through a grant from the Governor Terry Branstad Historic Fund.. in 2015, Branstad became the longest-serving governor in U.S.history and is now the Ambassador to China.

The public is invited to participate in this historic event and help honor the memory of a great sports champion who was also a cultural icon of the 1950s decade.

SOURCE: National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame

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