Leon Lucas

LEON LUCAS was born in Camden, New Jersey on September 4, 1901. His parents were immigrants from Poland.

At the age of 18 he was living at 1103 Louis Street and working at one of Camden's shipyards. He lived at 1539 Mount Ephraim Avenue in Camden NJ, and was working as a hardwood floor layer in late 1926 when he took up boxing, working out at the Arcadia gym in Philadelphia. In one night in Philadelphia, April 12, 1928, he defeated four opponents, all by knockout, to qualify for the AAU finals, which determined the makeup of that year's American Olympic team. A light heavyweight, he defeated Dave Maeir of Milwaukee in 1928 to win the Amateur Athletic Union light heavyweight title, and earn his place at the 1928 Olympics in Amsterdam.

After returning to Camden from the Olympics, Leon Lucas turned professional. He won his first three fights, two by knockout in Philadelphia PA. For his fourth fight, he traveled to Milwaukee WI to fight 5 days after his previous bought. He fought King Levinsky only to be knocked out in the 6th round. This would prove to be his last professional fight. He stayed around boxing and in June of 1929 traveled to Lakewood NJ to work as a sparring partner for German heavyweight Max Schmeling.

At the end of his boxing career, Leon Lucas went into business. He acquired a popular bar at 1223 Haddon Avenue from long-time Camden tavern owner Charles E.A. "Pop" Mathews. This bar became known as Donkey's Place.

Donkey's Place over the years became famous for its steak sandwiches, on a poppy-seed roll smothered in onions. A Camden staple for seven decades, you can still get one today!

Leon Lucas passed away in May of 1971.


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