Brandt was another of the hundreds of fighters to come out of the Lower East Side during the first half of the 20th century. Born June 10, 1912 to Hungarian Jewish immigrants, Murray “Ozone Park Ghost” Brandt grew up in a crowded tenement with five other siblings: two brothers, Teddy and Manny, and three sisters: Sally, Bella and Rose. Ted Brandt, his older brother was also a fighter and later helped manage Murray (they fought as Brandt Brothers).
By the time Brandt’s career in the welterweight division was through, it was known in the five Bouroughs of New York that he had participated in 250 pro bouts (as validated by private Tom Ephrem of the National Guard Armory in New York City) however Boxrec has an official surviving fight record of 96 fights. During the run of his career, ”The Ozone Park Ghost” (as he was known due to his pale complexion) had fought on numerous occasions in Madison Square Garden and had crossed gloves and defeated some of the leading contenders of the 1930’s (in both the Lightweight and Welterweight Divisions). Among those that Brandt fought were Izzy Janazzo, premier Lightweight contender, Billy Hogan, National Golden Gloves Champ, who Brandt fought to a draw. There were inner-city battles with such greats as Stan Loaza, Harry Dublinsky, and Paola Villa. Brandt’s popularity earned him a chance to open his own boxing gym in New York City, where many boxing celebrities such as Joe Louis often came in to train (Brandt knew Ray Arcel, who helped Brandt’s career and was Louis’s associate, which eventually led to Brandt’s introduction to Louis.)
Once World War 2 propelled into full force, Brandt was drafted from the local National Guard Armory, from which he was Sergeant, to go off to war in Europe. In the fall and winter of 1944, he participated in the “Battle of the Bulge” where he and his company were surrounded in Bastogne, Belgium by German S.S. Panzer Units.
Brandt survived the war and eventually moved out to Long Beach, California to become a successful businessman, owning businesses along the Long Beach Boardwalk at “The Pike” (the first SoCal amusement park) and owning one of the first “Headshops” during the 1960’s, 70’s, and early 80’s, known as “B and M Toys” (Beaty and Murray) which was also located in Long Beach on Ximeno Ave. Brandt later retired and moved to Las Vegas with his wife Beaty and their children and immediate family. Because of his boxing notoriety, Murray was able to make appearances at vintage fight memorabilia events along with his friend and colleague, Joe Louis, who Brandt eventually met up with again after 50 years away from the sport.