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7 records – page 1 of 1.
Part Of
Sammy Luftspring fonds
Level
Fonds
ID
Fonds 82
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Sammy Luftspring fonds
Level
Fonds
Fonds
82
Material Format
multiple media
Date
1922-2000
Physical Description
2 scrapbooks : 65 x 48 cm and 34 x 30 cm
Admin History/Bio
Sammy Luftspring was born on May 14th, 1916 in "The Ward" in Toronto. His parents were working-class Jews who emigrated from Eastern Europe. Sammy began training as a youth at the Brunswick YMHA. He lived in Kensington Market and attended B'nai Brith summer camp as a youngster. In 1932 he started entering boxing matches. He competed in 105 fights and only lost five bouts, capturing the Golden Glove tournaments in the weight classes ranging from bantamweight to welterweight. Sammy became famous for his fighting prowess as well as his Jewish pride, always sporting a Star of David on his boxing shorts.
By 1933, he became the Ontario lightweight champion, representing the Elm Grove boxing club. That same year, he took part in the Christie Pits riot. Because of his accomplishments in the ring and his contribution to his community, he became a highly respected athlete within the Jewish community.
In 1936, he was selected for the Canadian team to take part in the Berlin Olympics that year. Although he was eager to compete, his parents and the community pressured him to boycott the games in protest over the Nazi's treatment of Jews in Germany. Luftspring and "Baby Yak", another famous local Jewish boxer, decided to participate instead in the alternate games in Barcelona, Spain, called the "People's Olympics". After making the trip to Europe by ship, the two faced the disappointment of having the event cancelled after the Civil War broke out on the eve of the opening ceremonies.
After his return to Toronto, Luftspring began to box professionally. In 1938, he won the Canadian welterweight championship after a 15-round fight where he defeated Frank Genovese. He held the title for two years. During a fight in New York against Steve Belloise, Luftspring was poked in the eye, resulting in a detached retina. This injury left him blind in one eye, ending his boxing career.
By 1948, he began a new career as a boxing referee. He refereed for several decades, overseeing some of the most celebrated fights of that time. He also ran a nightclub in Toronto called the Mercury Club with three partners. It attracted famous entertainers such as Henry Youngman, Vic Damone and Tony Bennett. He subsequently ran other nightclubs such as the Tropicana.
In addition to his boxing career, Sammy was also a devoted family man. He married his wife Elsie in 1938 at the McCaul Street synagogue. Three hundred and fifty people attended and hundreds waited outside of the synagogue to wish them well. They had two children: Brian and Orian.
His biography, Call Me Sammy, was published in 1975. Luftspring was given the great honour in 1985 of being inducted into Canada's Sports Hall of Fame. He passed away on September 27, 2000.
Custodial History
The scrapbooks were created by Sammy Luftspring. He kept them at his house and when he passed away they were safegaurded by his son Brian.
Scope and Content
Fonds consists of two scrapbooks that reflect Sammy Luftspring's personal life and various careers as a boxer, referee, author, and nightclub manager and owner. Scrapbooks contain correspondence, ephemera, newspaper clippings, brochures, autographs, coins, and approximately 700 photographs.
Personal records include photographs of Sammy and his family during his childhood, family weddings, trips and vacations, and other family events, such as birthday parties and his son's Bar Mitzvah. There are also letters and cards from Sammy's wife, children, grandchildren and friends, and other ephemeral items Sammy collected, such as ticket stubs from baseball games.
Professional records include images of Sammy training for upcoming boxing matches, portraits of Sammy posing in his boxing attire, images from the grand opening of the Mercury Club, photographs of Sammy as a referee, as well as, photographs of Sammy at various celebrity boxing matches. There is also correspondence and a brochure documenting Sammy's incorporation into the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame and some correspondence regarding the publication and promotion of his book. Finally, there are numerous newspaper clippings relating to all of Sammy's professional endeavours.
Name Access
Luftspring, Sammy, 1916-2000
Subjects
Boxers (Sports)
Physical Condition
The scrapbooks are in poor condition. Many of the photographs, documents and clippings were glued to the pages and the pages have almost all fallen out of the bindings.
Related Material
1981-1-7
Arrangement
The scrapbooks have been kept intact and no arrangement has been done. However, some of the key images have been scanned and item level descriptions have been completed for them.
Creator
Luftspring, Sammy, 1916-2000
Accession Number
2009-10-3
Source
Archival Descriptions
Level
Item
ID
Item 2512
Source
Archival Descriptions
Level
Item
Item
2512
Material Format
graphic material
Date
11 July 1936
Physical Description
2 photographs : b&w (1 negative)
Admin History/Bio
Sammy Luftspring and Norman "Baby" Yack were boxers. Harry Sniderman was a baseball pitcher.
Scope and Content
Identified in this photograph from left to right are: Sammy Luftspring; Harry Sniderman; Norman "Baby" Yack.
Name Access
Luftspring, Sammy, 1916-2000
Sniderman, Harry
Yack, Norman (Baby)
Subjects
Boxers (Sports)
Pitchers (Baseball)
Repro Restriction
Copyright is in the public domain and permission for use is not required. Please credit the Ontario Jewish Archives as the source of the photograph.
Accession Number
1981-1-7
Source
Archival Descriptions
Level
Item
ID
Item 2513
Source
Archival Descriptions
Level
Item
Item
2513
Material Format
graphic material
Date
1939
Physical Description
2 photographs : b&w (1 negative)
Name Access
Luftspring, Sammy, 1916-2000
Subjects
Boxers (Sports)
Repro Restriction
Copyright is in the public domain and permission for use is not required. Please credit the Ontario Jewish Archives as the source of the photograph.
Places
New York (N.Y.).
Accession Number
1981-1-7
Source
Archival Descriptions
Level
Item
ID
Item 2514
Source
Archival Descriptions
Level
Item
Item
2514
Material Format
graphic material
Date
1938
Physical Description
2 photographs : b&w (1 negative)
Admin History/Bio
Sammy Luftspring (b.1915-d.2000) was a professional boxer and Canadian Welterwight Champion. Luftspring married Elise and together they had two children, Brian and Orian.
Scope and Content
Item consists of a copy of an advertisement for Adam Hat, featuring Welterweight Champion of Canada Sammy Luftspring.
Name Access
Luftspring, Sammy, 1916-2000
Subjects
Boxers (Sports)
Repro Restriction
Copyright is in the public domain and permission for use is not required. Please credit the Ontario Jewish Archives as the source of the photograph.
Places
Toronto (Ont.)
Accession Number
1981-1-7
Source
Archival Descriptions
Level
Item
ID
Item 2516
Source
Archival Descriptions
Level
Item
Item
2516
Material Format
graphic material
Date
1930
Physical Description
2 photographs : b&w (1 negative)
Admin History/Bio
Sammy Luftspring (b.1915-d.2000) was a professional boxer and Canadian Welterwight Champion. Luftspring married Elise and together they had two children, Brian and Orian.
Scope and Content
Sammy Luftspring was 14 years old at the time of this photograph.
Name Access
Luftspring, Sammy, 1916-2000
Subjects
Boxers (Sports)
Repro Restriction
Copyright is in the public domain and permission for use is not required. Please credit the Ontario Jewish Archives as the source of the photograph.
Places
Toronto (Ont.)
Accession Number
1981-1-7
Source
Archival Descriptions
Level
Item
ID
Item 2517
Source
Archival Descriptions
Level
Item
Item
2517
Material Format
graphic material
Date
1938
Physical Description
2 photographs : b&w (1 negative)
Admin History/Bio
Sammy Luftspring (b.1915-d.2000) was a professional boxer and Canadian Welterwight Champion. Luftspring married Elise and together they had two children, Brian and Orian.
Name Access
Luftspring, Sammy, 1916-2000
Subjects
Boxers (Sports)
Repro Restriction
Copyright is in the public domain and permission for use is not required. Please credit the Ontario Jewish Archives as the source of the photograph.
Places
Toronto (Ont.)
Accession Number
1981-1-7
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Jewish Community Centre of Toronto fonds
Jewish Community Centre Archives Committee series
Photograph collection sub-series
Level
File
ID
Fonds 61; Series 2-2; File 43
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Jewish Community Centre of Toronto fonds
Jewish Community Centre Archives Committee series
Photograph collection sub-series
Level
File
Fonds
61
Series
2-2
File
43
Material Format
graphic material
Date
1961-1974
Physical Description
5 photographs : b&w ; 18 x 13 and 9 x 13 cm
Scope and Content
This file consists of photographs depicting boxers at the Y.M.-Y.W.H.A. Four of the photographs are of individuals, including Merle Dawson, volunteer instructor at the Bloor and Spadina Y.M.-Y.W.H.A. The fifth is of a group of boxers posing at the Bloor "Y".
Subjects
Boxers (Sports)
Repro Restriction
Copyright is held by the Ontario Jewish Archives. Please contact the Archives to obtain permission prior to use.
Source
Archival Descriptions
7 records – page 1 of 1.

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