Philadelphia Jack O'Brien

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Philadelphia Jack O'Brien
Class of 1994
Old Timer Category
Hall of Fame bio:click
World Boxing Hall of Fame Inductee

Name: Philadelphia Jack O'Brien
Alias: James Francis Hagen
Born: 1878-01-17
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Died: 1942-11-12 (Age:64)
Hometown: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Height: 5′ 10½″   /   179cm
Boxing Record: click

Manager: Harry Pollock
Photo #2, Photo #3, Photo #4


Philadelphia Jack O'Brien was born James Francis Hagen (some say "Joseph F. Hagen"). He was the older brother to John T. Hagen, a.k.a. Young Jack O'Brien. They were cousins of heavyweight boxer Jack Rowan.

O'Brien was acquainted with a doctor in Pottsville, PA, Patrick O'Hara, father of author John O'Hara (1905-1970). The doctor once challenged O'Brien to a private sparring session and a reluctant O'Brien gave the cocky doctor a merciful beating. Source: The Art of Burning Bridges: A life of John O'Hara, by Geoffrey Wolff (Knopf 2003).

It is believed he managed a gym at 1658 Broadway, NY, in the late 1920s/early 1930s. (See the Dec. 24, 1931 New York Times.)

O'Brien was the chief second to Jack Dempsey at the 1926 Jack Dempsey vs. Gene Tunney (1st meeting) bout in Philadelphia.

O'Brien's Known Exhibitions

  • 1909-8-20 EX4 Dick Gilbert, Denver, CO
  • 1909-2-11 EX4 Anthony J. Drexel Biddle, Philadelphia, PA
  • 1909-1-04 EX2 Fred Cooley, Washington S.C. Philadelphia, PA
  • 1909-1-04 EX2 Jack Reed, Washington S.C. Philadelphia, PA
  • 1909-1-04 EX2 Jack Cooper, Washington S.C. Philadelphia, PA
  • 1908-9-23 EX4 Anthony J. Drexel Biddle, Philadelphia, PA
  • 1908-4-04 EX4 Anthony J. Drexel Biddle, Philadelphia, PA
  • 1902-3-26 EX Jack McCann, Reading, PA
  • 1902-3-26 EX2 Morris Mahoney, Reading, PA

External Links

  • Tracy Callis's article [1]
  • Online version of O'Brien's book Boxing (a.k.a. The Art of Boxing): [2]
  • "How He Fought His Way to Fame and Fortune": Nov. 20, 1905 Spokane Press article [3]


Preceded by:
Bob Fitzsimmons
World Light Heavyweight Champion
20 Dec 1905–1905
Abandoned
Succeeded by:
Jack Dillon