One of the greatest Heavy Weight Champions of all time, Georgia’s own William Lawrence Stribling was also a man infatuated with machines. An avid aviator and motorcycle enthusiast, “Young” Stribling as he was known was born in a small south Georgia town into a life of consumed with travel, so it is no wonder that he was drawn to all forms of transport. The son of a traveling vaudeville family, Strib grew up criss-crossing the globe performing balancing acts and gymnastics. His mother began training him and his younger brother to box before they could even walk, and the shows eventually featured the 4 year old Strib and his 2 year old brother sparing a round or two for the audience at the end of the show. By 17, the 6 foot tall, steely blue-eyed Stribling became an instant boxing sensation, fighting in no less than 75 professional bouts in his debut year. A devout and moral man, Strib led a clean life without smoking or drinking and insisted on promoting a fair and gentlemanly sport across the country. In 1925 he married the love of his life, Ms. Clara Kinney of Macon, GA, and together the would welcome 3 children into the world. Strib continued to be a wildly successful fighter and an icon in the sport, winning most of his matches by knockout within only two rounds. Out of his 286 professional fights, Young Stribling lost only 12, and only once by a TKO while on tour in Europe.
On October 1st, 1933, while riding his beloved Indian 4the heavy weight champ was struck by an automobile as he returned to the hospital in Macon, GA to be with Clara and their newborn child. The young sensation, a celebrity in every sense of the word, a man who helped shape the sport of boxing into what it is today succumbed to his injuries two days later on October 3rd, 1933, his dying words were a loving greeting to his wife as she entered his room with their newborn son.