Joe Gorman

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Name: Joe Gorman
Alias: Spanish Tamale/ Kid Nabisco
Birth Name: Joseph D. (Dominguez?) Gorman
Born: 1898-08-04
Birthplace: Honolulu, Hawaii, USA
Died: 1946-12-26 (Age:48)
Hometown: Portland, Oregon, USA
Stance: Orthodox
Height: 5′ 5″   /   165cm
Reach: 62″   /   157cm
Boxing Record: click

Managers: Bobby Evans, Willie Bernstein, Fred Winsor
Photo #2


Joe Gorman was a Spanish-American boxer born in Honolulu, Hawaii in 1898. His family would move to Oakland when Gorman was the age of seven. He would then begin boxing as an amateur in Oakland, or at least in so-called amateur fights when he was 14 years old.

Gorman arrived in Portland, Oregon, in May 1916 with fellow Oakland boxer Frankie Malone. Malone turned around and left without fighting. Gorman stayed in town, and would be based out of Portland for the majority of his career. He claimed to have had approximately 315 bouts prior to his arrival in Yakima, WA, as a promoter. Gorman was based out of Grants Pass, Oregon, circa 1923-28. He was promoting shows out of Medford, Oregon, in 1926. According to a June 10, 1925 article in the San Francisco Chronicle, Gorman had fought as "Kid Nabisco" twelve years prior, when he was fighting in the Bay Area.

Gorman was known as a two-handed pressure fighter who liked to get inside and overwhelm his opponents with his offense. He tended to be a bit of slow starter, so it's conceivable that his style was more effective in the 10 round bouts that were the norm in Oregon. His style was very popular with the fans and made him a big draw in all the Northwest fight centers. He was known for having an excellent chin, which allowed him to take risks with bigger fighters and big punchers. His chin eventually began to fail him around 1923 though, as age and wear and tear caught up with him.

Gorman was probably one of the most beloved fighters to box out Portland at the time he retired. Many years after he retired in the 1940s, a good fight in Portland with back and forth action was often referred to as "bringing back the memories of the days of Joe Gorman."

He was managed by Bobby Evans. Also managed by Willie Bernstein during the early 1920s. On July 1, 1922, according to the Spokane Spokesman Review newspaper, he had dropped Evans as his manager after four years, although there were still eight months left on their contract. They reconciled shortly thereafter. Fred Winsor became his manager, starting with his March 1, 1923 bout with Larry Jones.

While vacationing in Yakima during September 1930, Gorman was offered the job of head trainer by the Knights of Columbus. Gorman accepted the job. (Shortly thereafter he fought an exhibition.) He began promoting boxing in October 1930 at the Yakima Knights of Columbus Hall. He quit promoting in November 1930, and began another comeback, boxing out of Yakima.

Gorman moved to Portland in late 1934/early 1935, from Grants Pass. On February 12, 1935 he boxed a three round exhibition on a Joe Waterman program in Portland with big gloves against old Northwest rival Bud Ridley. The two fought to help raise money for Mysterious Billy Smith.

According to the May 11, 1940 Tacoma News Tribune (Tacoma, WA, USA), he was a Rose City (Portland, OR) waiter at a tavern.

Portland Oregonian writer L.H. Gregory, caught up with Gorman in a August 11, 1945 article, after he had celebrated his 25th wedding anniversary and 47th birthday on August 4th. Gorman had three children; Jack, Jimmy, and Ramona, as well as two grandchildren. He was working as a machine burner at the Oregon Shipyards. He was living at 8113 N. Willamette in Portland.

After complaining of chest pains for a week, Gorman suffered a fatal heart attack on December 26, 1946 at his home in Portland. Gorman was survived by his wife Josephine, his three children, as well as his brothers Eddie and Frank. Gorman was interred at Lincoln Memorial Park in Portland. He was 48 years old.

Other Facts

Brother of fellow professional boxers Eddie Gorman and Frankie Gorman.

Gorman's Measurements (from the December 5, 1922 Portland Oregonian):

  • Height: 5' 5"
  • Weight: 127�"
  • Reach: 62 inches
  • Neck: 15�"
  • Chest Normal: 36"
  • Chest Expanded: 39"
  • Waist: 30"
  • Biceps: 17"
  • Forearm: 12"
  • Wrist: 7�"
  • Thigh: 19�"
  • Calf: 11�"
  • Ankle: 9"
  • Most of the undated early bouts in Gorman's BoxRec Record come from the Sept. 2, 1916 Everett Daily Herald (Everett, WA).
  • Death information courtesy of December 27, 1946 Portland Oregonian; "Death Takes Joe Gorman" and Funeral Notices.
  • Gorman has 66 recorded draws, which is the second most of any boxer in the BoxRec database. Young Farrell has the most with 86.