The Chronicle -

By Finn J.D. John
Chronicle Columnist 

Offbeat Oregon History - World champion boxer by day, kidnapper by night

 

June 6, 2019

Photo provided/UNLV Archive

This portrait of Larry Sullivan shows him at age 43. It's from the program of the notorious Gans-Nelson boxing event he was promoting at the time, in Goldfield, Nevada, shortly after he left Portland.

In 1903, Larry Sullivan was at the height of his power in Portland. Hard-fisted and belligerent, yet socially polished and with what passed in old Portland society for refined manners, he was able to seamlessly move between the rough, hard-drinking world of the old North End waterfront, and the refined gentlemen's-club atmosphere of the Arlington Club.

It was Larry who'd first realized that, by organizing the great anonymous population of sailors drifting in and out of port, he could create a political base for himself and use it to swing elections with gangs of "repeaters" who would drift...



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