Joe Lewis (1914-1981) first won the heavyweight championship in 1937. His career record included 68 victories and 3 losses. In 1936, Lewis lost his first match to the former world champion, German boxer Max Schmeling.
The Nazis equated the victory over Lewis with nazi superiority over democracy. In 1938, Lewis won a rematch with Schmeling and became a hero for the WWII war effort.
Additionally, he gave inspirational speeches and helped with recruiting. In 1954 he was elected to the boxing hall of fame.