Henry (Pappy) Gault

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Henry (Pappy) Gault

Name: Pappy Gault
Birth Name: William Henry Gault Jr.
Born: 1929-02-08
Birthplace: Spartanburg, South Carolina, USA
Died: 1971-12-29 (Age:42)
Nationality: US American
Hometown: Spartanburg, South Carolina, USA
Stance: Orthodox
Height: 5′ 3″   /   160cm
Reach: 64″   /   163cm
Boxing Record: click

Division: Bantamweight
Manager: Chris Cline

Henry Gault was shot and killed in 1972 at the age of 42.

Not everyone familiar with local boxing legend 'Pappy' Gault's Olympic ties By CRAIG PETERS craig.peters@shj.com Published: Tuesday, August 5, 2008 at 3:15 a.m. Last Modified: Tuesday, August 5, 2008 at 2:48 p.m.

William Henry "Pappy" Gault knew his way around a boxing ring. Those who remember him say that was undisputed. Enlarge

"Pappy" Gault's blue Olympic blazer and New Testament.

However, a few people familiar with Spartanburg history recently said they were not aware that the native son's storied career included five circular rings - the symbol of the Olympics.

Sixty years ago, Gault and Frankie Sodano battled for the right to represent the United States in the bantamweight slot at the 1948 London games. Sodano got the nod after a split decision, but Gault also set sail on the SS America as an alternate eager to represent his hometown and homeland. "He was a little disappointed he didn't make first team, but pleased to be going," said Ray Thompson Sr., who was Gault's boss in the Herald-Journal mailroom for many years. "It was a real treat for him to go to the Olympics."

Born Feb. 9, 1929, Gault said growing up was a struggle, prompting interest in boxing. He explained, "I was always fighting to survive anyway, so I just started working on my style."

He combined strength with strategy, power with poise. Every drop of sweat testified to his fierce intensity inside the ring.

Hr traveled for bouts from Asheville, N.C. to Australia, but Gault always returned to Spartanburg.

Earlier in 1948 - just two years after his first amateur fight - Gault won the National Golden Gloves flyweight championship at New York's Madison Square Garden. Gault returned to New York to depart for the Olympics, leaving on a luxury liner with 259 other Olympians including another alternate, Doug Ellwood of Port Allen, La. Gault befriended Ellwood, an NCAA champ, and each man recorded a victory in a competition with Irish fighters in Dublin before returning to the United States.

The pair teamed up again after Ellwood moved to Spartanburg about a decade later to teach boxing lessons to youngsters, including their sons, Billy Gault, Doug Ellwood Jr. and Patrick Ellwood.

Doug Ellwood Jr. said he stuck with boxing through junior high school.

"After that, it gets pretty serious," he said. "Pappy's son stayed with it longer. The rest of us realized (the sport's severity) about the time we hit 15 or 16 years old."

Both Pappy Gault and the elder Ellwood died tragic deaths. Gault was 42 years old when he was shot and killed on Dec. 30, 1971. Ellwood was 36 when he died from injuries sustained in a car wreck in October 1961.

Allen Carroll Pruitt was convicted for the murder of Gault and Douglas Chesney. Witnesses said Pruitt tagged along with Gault and Chesney as they left a gambling house. Gault and Chesney were found in a car on Snake Road. Pappy Gault went 65-4 as an amateur boxer and then competed professionally in 78 fights, going 53-19-6 from 1948 to 1956. Gault won the North American Bantamweight title in a 12-rounder against Fernando Gagnon in Quebec in 1952, but lost it the following year in a 12-rounder against Billy Peacock in Brooklyn.

Billy Gault, who was born in 1949, said he didn't remember his father talking about the Olympic experience. Nor did his sister, Louanne Doan, who now lives in Mobile, Ala. Billy Gault, however, has kept a blue blazer with an Olympic crest and a copy of the New Testament in mint condition. Both items were given to all attendees in 1948. Pappy Gault went 65-4 as an amateur boxer and then competed professionally in 78 fights, going 53-19-6 from 1948 to 1956. Gault won the North American Bantamweight title in a 12-rounder against Fernando Gagnon in Quebec in 1952, but lost it the following year in a 12-rounder against Billy Peacock in Brooklyn.

Billy Gault, who was born in 1949, said he didn't remember his father talking about the Olympic experience. Nor did his sister, Louanne Doan, who now lives in Mobile, Ala. Billy Gault, however, has kept a blue blazer with an Olympic crest and a copy of the New Testament in mint condition. Both items were given to all attendees in 1948.Spartanburg. Other career highlights stood above his trip to London. But Gault the man, at 5-foot-3, stood above the accolades and on the same plane as the people of Spartanburg.

His compassion and friendliness, even to strangers, trademarked the man.

Ellwood Jr. knew that first hand.

"He was great," Ellwood said. "After my dad died, he took me and my brother under his wing."



Preceded by:
Asuncion Llanos
New York Golden Gloves Tournament of Champions
Flyweight Champion

1948
Succeeded by:
Eugene Smith
Preceded by:
Asuncion Llanos
Intercity Golden Gloves
Flyweight Champion

1948
Succeeded by:
Eugene Smith



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