Pete Mead

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Felix G. "Pete" Mead​

(American middleweight boxer, 1942 to 1951)

Born January 11, 1924​
Trumann, Poinsett County
Arkansas, USA
Died July 2, 2007 (aged 83) ​
Jonesboro, Craighead County
Spouse Dorothy Russell Mead (married c. 1940-2004, her death)​

Jim, Shirley, Vicki, and Jeff Mead
​ Carolyn Delane Mead (died in infancy in 1941)​
Ed and Ethel Shandlin Mead​

Religion Missionary Baptist

Felix G. Mead, known as Pete Mead (January 11, 1924 – July 2, 2007), was an American middleweight boxer from Arkansas, who fought in the ring fifty-six times from 1942 to 1951.​ ​


The son of Edward Lewis Mead (1891-1956) and the former Ethel B. Shandlin (1900-1957), he was born in Trumann in Poinsett County in northeastern Arkansas but lived most of his life in the nearby larger city of Jonesboro in Craighead County, Arkansas.[1]

He fought fifty-six times in the ring, both in the United States and overseas. His boxing career was interrupted by World War II, during which he served in the United States Army. However, he fought several exhibition bouts during his military years.​ His brother Tullos Lee Mead (1934-2011) was a high school football and basketball coach in northeastern Arkansas.[2] Another brother was Garland Mead (1922-1989).[3]

Boxing record

In 1946, Mead made his first of several appearances at Madison Square Garden in New York City with a six-round decision over Tommy Merrill. He defeated thereafter Vince LaSalva and Jerry Fiorello (1918-1947), who died in an apparent murder-suicide with a woman other than his wife.[4] Mead split two bouts with Herbie Kronowitz (1923-2012) of the Brooklyn borough. Mead then defeated George "Sonny" Horne (1924-1959) of Niles, Ohio.​[5]

In 1947, Mead lost a verdict in Madison Square Garden to Harold Green (1924-2001).[6]After his loss George "Sonny" Horne (1924-1959), Mead rebounded to defeat Horne in their second mathup. He then knocked out Rueben Shank (1929-2002) in the tenth round. He secured eight more victories, including split decisions over Herbert Lewis Harwick, known as the "Cocoa Kid" (1914-1966), and Herbie Kronowitz. He lost to Vincent "Vinnie" Rossano but stopped in five rounds Joseph J. "Joey" DeJohn (c. 1926-2008) of Syracuse, New York.​[5]

In 1948, Mead again outscored Kronowitz, but he then lost a split verdict to Al "Red" Priest (1920-2000). He lost another decision to Priest as well but rallied twice to defeat "Bruiser" Tony Masciarelli (1928-1996) of the Bronx borough. On June 14, 1948, Walter Cartier (1922-1995), also from the Bronx, knocked out Mead in the third round. It was Mead's first knockout. He returned to defeat Charley Zivic (1925-1984) and to draw with "Dynamite" Joe Rindone (1926-1998). He stopped at the Cleveland Arena to defeat Mickey Doyle on points and thereafter lost a rematch with Rindone.​[5]

On February 25, 1949, Mead met DeJohn again in what is considered to have been one of the greatest fights ever at Madison Square Garden. Mead got off the floor in the third and fifth rounds and stopped DeJohn in the seventh round. This fight has been called "the bloodiest" ever in The Garden. It was also Mead's last victory. This fight was hailed by Ring magazine as one of the ten greatest fights of the 20th century.​[1]

Mead then lost at Madison Square Garden to a French contender, Robert Villemain (1924-1984). He, again, met DeJohn, this time in Rochester, New York, and DeJohn triumphed in the seventh round. Mead traveled to Great Britain, where he lost on points to Dave Sands (1926-1952), an Australian. He was stopped in the fourth round by Randolph "Randy" Turpin (1928-1966), an Englishman. In 1950, Mead returned to the United States but was knocked out by Rocky Graziano (1919-1990) of New York City in three rounds. Mead's compiled a 39-16-1 record.​[5]

Later years

In 1989, Mead wrote his autobiography, Blood, Sweat and Cheers: The Pete Mead Story, a collector's item that can sell for as much as $135. He was inducted in 1993 into the Ohio Boxing Hall of Fame.​[1][5]

After leaving the ring, Mead lived for a time in Grand Rapids, Michigan, but later relocated to Jonesboro, Arkansas, where he operated a construction company. He was married for some sixty-five years to the former Dorothy M. Russell (1921-2004), also a native of Trummann, Arkansas. ​ He was survived by his children, Jim Mead, Shirley Mead, Vicki Mead, and Jeff Mead, all of Jonesboro; five grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren. A fifth child, Carolyn Delane Mead died in infancy. He was a member of the Prospect Missionary Baptist Church in Jonesboro. A graveside committal service was held on July 6, 2007, at Jonesboro Memorial Park Cemetery.​[1]

Over the years Mead kept in touch with such friends and former competitors as Rocky Marciano (1923-1969), Herbie Kronowitz (1923-2012), Joey DeJohn, Rocky Graziano (1919-1990), Jack Dempsey, and Joe Louis.​[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Pete Mead. Retrieved on November 25, 2019.
  2. Tullos Lee Mead obituary. Retrieved on November 25, 2019.
  3. Pete Mead. Retrieved on November 25, 2019.
  4. Jerry Fiorello. Retrieved on November 25, 2019.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 Pete Mead: American boxer and businessman (1924-2007). Retrieved on November 25, 2019.
  6. Former boxer Green dies at 76. the Las Vegas Sun (September 5, 2001). Retrieved on November 25, 2019.

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