Billy Miske

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Class of 2010
Old-Timer Category
Hall of Fame bio:click

Name: Billy Miske
Alias: The St. Paul Thunderbolt
Birth Name: William Arthur Miske
Born: 1894-02-16
Birthplace: Saint Paul, Minnesota, USA
Died: 1924-01-01 (Age:29)
Hometown: Saint Paul, Minnesota, USA
Stance: Orthodox
Height: 6′ 0½″   /   184cm
Reach: 76″   /   193cm
Boxing Record: click

Manager: Jack Reddy [1]
Billy Miske Image Gallery

Billy Miske, father of future professional boxer Billy Miske Jr., had a ten-year boxing career with well-known opponents such as Tommy Gibbons, Harry Greb, Jack Dillon, Battling Levinsky, and World Heavyweight Champion Jack Dempsey.

In 1918 he fell ill with Bright's Disease, a kidney disease. By November 1921, he had become an automobile dealer. He later resumed fighting. On November 7, 1923, Miske knocked out Bill Brennan while still suffering from his Bright's Disease (reportedly to provide for Christmas and savings for his family). Miske died 55 days later, on January 1, 1924, at St. Paul, Minnesota. According to obituaries of the time, he had fought a total of 114 bouts during his career.

In a FOX Sports biopic entitled Billy Miske: Dead Man Fighting, boxing historian Jake Wegner discussed the legacy of Miske. To quote: "Billy Miske was one of the greatest fighters to ever lace up the gloves, but you don't have to be a boxing fan to admire what this man did. Miske leaves a legacy of raw courage, of hope for what is possible for people while they are sick--for what you can do while you are sick--even terminally sick. He leaves behind a role model for fathers, husbands and for fighters." In the program noted above, boxing historian Tracy Callis commented: "He (Miske) was a great fighter and a genuine man."


  • [2] Miske Died Because Of Love For Family, Friends Claim - St. Paul Heavyweight Scrapper Continued in Game After Becoming Ill to Provide For Their Needs, By the Associated Press, Jan. 2, 1924
  • [3] Ziglar, Zig, (2000). See You At The Top, pp. 331-332, Pelican Publishing Company, ISBN 1565547063
  • [4] Newspaper Article: Fighter gave his all for family's holiday, Spokane Chronicle, December 25, 1985
  • [5] Newspaper Article: Public Joins Fans Paying Tribute To Memory Of Fighter, The Evening Independent, January 4, 1924
  • [6] Newspaper Article: What If Your Number Came Up? Les Goates, May 4, 1952, The Deseret News
  • [7] Sports History/December 16: Billy Miske Almost Beat Jack Dempsey but His Greatest Triumph Came During His Final Christmas - Written by Jim Bankes
  • Billy Miske: The St. Paul Thunderbolt biography
  • [8] Corbett Says Tunney Will Have to Box Dempsey, By James J. Corbett, Sept. 18, 1926, King Features Syndicated [Corbett discussed Miske's bouts with Dempsey in this article].
  • [9] The Inspiring Story of Billy Miske, March 4, 2012 by John Hinderaker

External Links

  • [10] Miske page-Harry Greb
  • [11] Amazing Sports Stories: "Billy Miske: Dead Man Fighting"
  • [12] Billy Miske Website
  • [13] Minnesota Boxing Hall of Fame article on Billy Miske
  • [14] Billy Miske's Last Fight, The Reader's Digest, January, 1951
  • [15] International Boxing Research Organization - Boxing Biographies - Billy Miske: The St. Paul Thunderbolt, by Clay Moyle
  • [16] Billy Miske: The Epitome of Heart.
  • [17] Find A Grave
  • [18] Billy Miske Tribute

Some bouts and clarification of this record are courtesy of