SI Vault
 
THOMAS J. GIBBONS
February 03, 1958
Dandling a few of his 18 grandchildren on his knee is a gentle pursuit for this sheriff of Ramsey County, Minnesota. But there was a time when strong men stood in awe of him. He is the famous Tommy Gibbons who stayed 15 rounds with Jack Dempsey in a fight for the heavyweight championship of the world on July 4, 1923 in Shelby, Montana. Of him Dempsey later wrote: "I found in Gibbons one of the best defensive fighters I had met." Still a fighter at 66, Gibbons in his 20-odd years in office has cleaned gangsterism out of his bailiwick and has contributed generously of time and money to the youngsters of St. Paul. He is a director of the St. Paul Winter Carnival, a leader in the local Boy Scouts, a past deputy of the Knights of Columbus and a man of stern ethics. As evidence of his probity a story is told about some former boxing cronies who, profitably engaged in the liquor-selling business, came to Gibbons with much extravagant praise when he was first named local sheriff. Tommy replied: "Thanks a lot, boys, and you'll close at 12 midnight just like everybody else does."
Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font
February 03, 1958

Thomas J. Gibbons

View CoverRead All Articles View This Issue

Dandling a few of his 18 grandchildren on his knee is a gentle pursuit for this sheriff of Ramsey County, Minnesota. But there was a time when strong men stood in awe of him. He is the famous Tommy Gibbons who stayed 15 rounds with Jack Dempsey in a fight for the heavyweight championship of the world on July 4, 1923 in Shelby, Montana. Of him Dempsey later wrote: "I found in Gibbons one of the best defensive fighters I had met." Still a fighter at 66, Gibbons in his 20-odd years in office has cleaned gangsterism out of his bailiwick and has contributed generously of time and money to the youngsters of St. Paul. He is a director of the St. Paul Winter Carnival, a leader in the local Boy Scouts, a past deputy of the Knights of Columbus and a man of stern ethics. As evidence of his probity a story is told about some former boxing cronies who, profitably engaged in the liquor-selling business, came to Gibbons with much extravagant praise when he was first named local sheriff. Tommy replied: "Thanks a lot, boys, and you'll close at 12 midnight just like everybody else does."

1