Home Blog Car News Max Baer: Wiki, Career, Wives, Children, Body Statistics, Death, Net Worth at time of Death, Funeral service
Max Baer: Wiki, Career, Wives, Children, Body Statistics, Death, Net Worth at time of Death, Funeral service

Max Baer: Wiki, Career, Wives, Children, Body Statistics, Death, Net Worth at time of Death, Funeral service

Maximilian Adelbert Baer was an American professional boxer (February 11, 1909 – November 21, 1959) who held the title of world heavyweight champion from June 14, 1934, to June 13, 1935. He was of Jewish and Scot-Irish descent and grew up in a catholic household. A nickname that he earned during his time was the “Livermore Larupper” and “Madcap Maxie”. The Boxing Register: International Boxing Hall of Fame Official Record Book said that Max possessed perhaps “the most powerful right hand in heavyweight history.”

During his career, he fought several times, winning a number of fights but however, two of his fights (a win over Max Schmeling in 1933 and a loss to James J. Braddock in 1935) were rated Fights of the Year by The Ring magazine. During his match with Max Schmeling, , Baer wore the Star of David on his shorts, in a demonstration of pride for the Jewish people at a time when Nazi persecution of German Jews was just beginning.

In addition to his boxing career, Baer also served as a boxing referee, appearing occasionally on film or TV. He was a brother of heavyweight boxer Buddy Baer and the father of actor Max Baer Jr. It is a testament to Baer’s skills that he is ranked #22 on The Ring magazine’s list of 100 greatest punchers of all time.

This article will throw more light on the life of the great boxer.

Who is Max Baer?

On February 11, 1909, Baer was born in Omaha, Nebraska to Jacob Baer and Dora Bales . His father was the son of Jewish immigrants whereas his mother was of Scot-Irish descent. He was the second child among five siblings. He had an older sister by name Frances May Baer and a younger sister by name Bernice Jeanette Baer. He was the older brother of heavyweight boxer-turned-actor Jacob Henry Baer, better known as Buddy Baer. The last of his siblings was August Baer, an adopted brother of his.

When Baer was in the 8th grade, he dropped out of school to assist his father with their cattle ranch. His strong shoulders were often attributed to the long hours he spent carrying heavy carcasses of meat, stunning cattle with one blow, and working in a gravel pit, a job which required him to carry heavy loads.


The professional fighter Baer made his debut in 1929 and won 22 of his 24 fights, including nine knockouts in the first round. As a result of his conditioning, combined with his tremendous power, he proved to be an extremely tough opponent. He was charged with manslaughter in 1930 when Frankie Campbell died of a knockout by Baer. He was cleared of all charges and banned from boxing in California for a year. Baer was frightened by the incident that he decided to stop boxing altogether for several months.

Owing to the Campbell incident, it was no surprise when Baer returned to the ring and was reluctant to attack his opponents. Tommy Loughran, one of the most renowned fighters in history, told him that he was telegraphing his punches and Jack Dempsey helped him shorten his punches. Baer knocked Ernie Schaaf out in the tenth round of their fight in 1932. Schaaf died shortly after the fight with Primo Carnera and part of the reason was the damage he sustained when he received the blow from Baer.

During the June 1933 match at Yankee Stadium, Baer defeated the German, Max Schmeling, in front of 60,000 spectators. That was the greatest fight of his career. While fighting in this match, Baer wore a Star of David on his shorts as a sign of pride for the Jewish people. It was at a time when the Nazi regime was just beginning to persecute German Jews.

A year later, Baer won his first title fight, knocking champion Primo Carnera down 11 times during the fight. The fight was stopped in the 11th round, and Baer became the champion.

Baer, at his peak of fame, starred in a movie and embraced the lifestyle of the social elite. He was constantly romantically linked to movie stars, chorus girls, and Broadway starlets. He had two wives. He married actress Dorothy Dunbar on July 8, 1931 and divorced her in 1933. He married Marry Ellen Sullivan on June 29, 1935 and remained with her until his death.

Max lost the championship in his first title defense in June 1935, when he was defeated by James J. Braddock by a 15-round decision in a huge upset. His next fight against Joe Louis did not go well for Max, He lost that fight too. After losing to Louis in the fourth round, Max Baer retired from boxing and left with a career record of 72 victories (52 knockouts), 12 losses, and an international record of 72 wins (52 knockouts). He died in 1959, and he was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1995.


During his lifetime, Baer was married twice, first to actress Dorothy Dunbar, who was married on July 8, 1931 and divorced on October 3, 1933.

Thereafter, he married Mary Ellen Sullivan on June 29, 1935 until his death in 1959. She was the mother of his three children: actor Max Baer Jr. (born 1937), best known for playing Jethro Bodine on The Beverly Hillbillies; James Manny Baer (1941–2009); and Maudie Marian Baer (born 1944).


He was the proud father of three children together with his second wife, Mary Ellen Sullivan. The children were: actor and producer Max Baer Jr. (born 1937), best known for playing Jethro Bodine on The Beverly Hillbillies; James Manny Baer (1941–2009); and Maudie Marian Baer (born 1944).

Body Statistics.

 As a prolific heavyweight champion, he stood at a height of 6 feet 2 inches and had a body weight of 100 kilogram, a typical attribute of a heavyweight champion.

Net Worth at The Time of His Death.

According to Wikipedia, Forbes, IMDb & Various Online resources, famous Boxer Max Baer’s net worth was $5 million before He died. He amassed his fortune from his boxing and acting career.

Circumstances Leading to His Death.

Max Baer died on November 21, 1959 in Hollywood, Los Angeles due to a cardiac arrest. All efforts to save him that day proved futile and he died saying the words “ oh God, here I go”.

Funeral Service.

Over 1,500 mourners attended Baer’s funeral in Sacramento. Four former world champions of boxing attended his funeral in Sacramento. four former world boxing champions and Joe Louis and Jack Dempsey served as pallbearers. A military honor guard concluded the cemetery service to acknowledge Baer’s service in World War II. It was reported that Baer’s obituary appeared on the front page of The New York Times. His remains were interred in a garden crypt in the St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery, where he had been buried for years.

Full NameMaximilian Adelbert Baer
ProfessionHeavyweight boxer, actor.
Date of BirthFebruary 11, 1909
Date of DeathNovember 21, 1959
Age at time of death50 years
ParentsJacob Baer and Dora Bales.
WivesDorothy Dunbar (m. July 8, 1931-October 3, 1933) and Mary Ellen Sullivan (m. June 29, 1935- November 21, 1959)
ChildrenMax Baer Jr, James Manny Baer and Maudie Marian Baer.
Height6 feet 2 inches
Weight100 kilograms
Net Worth at Time of Death$5 million

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