Goldstein, Ruby : Jews In Sports @ Virtual Museum

Goldstein, Ruby

Reuven Goldstein

Goldstein spent over 35 years in the boxing ring, first as a fighter and then as a referee. In 1994, he was elected to the International Boxing Hall of Fame as a referee.

Birth and Death Dates:
b. October 7, 1907 - d. April 23, 1984

Career Highlights:
Goldstein began to box at the Henry Street Settlement House in the Lower East Side of New York City. After boxing in amateur tournaments, he turned professional in 1925 and defeated Red Cap Wilson in a six-round decision in October. Nicknamed the "Jewel of the Ghetto," Goldstein fought middleweight contender Ace Hudkins in June 1926 in one of the greatest fights of the first half of the 20th Century. Goldstein knocked Hudkins down with his first punch, but was eventually knocked out in the fourth-round. The following year, Goldstein defeated former lightweight champion Jimmy Goodrich, but then lost the rematch in 1928. Despite a sterling record (he won 50 of 55 pro fights -- 34 by knockout) and knocking out a dozen opponents in the first-round, Goldstein retired in 1937 after realizing he would never receive a title shot.

After retiring, he remained connected to boxing. Goldstein began to referee while in the Army in World War II; he was the referee when Joe Louis fought exhibitions at military installations. After being discharged from the army, he continued to referee. His first heavyweight title fight was the first Joe Louis-Jersey Joe Walcott bout. Over his long career as a referee, Goldstein officiated 39 world championship fights. No other referee worked more title bouts in all divisions. His career was slightly marred by the Emile Griffith-Benny Paret fight, in which Paret was killed in the ring; afterwards, some questioned whether Goldstein should have stopped the fight before Paret was struck his mortal blows. The event greatly disturbed Goldstein, and he officiated only one more fight before retiring. Besides being inducted in the Boxing Hall of Fame, he is also a member of the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame. His life story is told in the book Third Man in the Ring.

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Jewish Sports Legends: The International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame, by Joseph Siegman (Washington, D.C.: Brassey's, 2000)
encyclopedia of JEWS in sports, by Bernard Postal, Jesse Silver, and Roy Silver (New York: Bloch Publishing Co, 1965)