Zach Clayton is the former Pennsylvania State Athletic Commissioner. But what is unusual about Clayton is that in 1951 he became the first black man to receive a referee’s license with the state of Pennsylvania. The following year he also became the first of his race to referee a world heavyweight title. That fight took place on June 6, 1952, in Philadelphia, between Jersey Joe Walcott and Ezzard Charles.
In the early 1940s, Mr. Clayton played professional baseball in the Negro League alongside Jackie Robinson, Larry Doby, and his high school teammate, Roy Campanella.
He died of complications of a stroke at his home in Philadelphia's Mount Airy section.