"And the others?"
"That's enough." He walked out and turned back. "No need for you to come home with me after work tonight," he said.
Someone who slept next to a man like that, I thought—they could tell you things. The next afternoon his daughter came up the steps to pass him a message from her mother. "Where is she?" I asked. "In the car outside," the daughter said. I ran down and asked if I could come talk to her one afternoon.
Back in my hotel I started calling people who knew Beau Jack. Maybe they could help me understand him.
"His manager," one man said, "I heard he'd dump a big bag of one-dollar bills on Beau's bed after a fight—five thousand of them!—and Beau would get so excited he wouldn't realize he was supposed to get $10,000. I hear sometimes they'd have him practice writing his name on blank checks. Robbed the poor guy blind."
"Gave half the money away," claimed another man. " 'Hey, Mr. Beau Jack, I'm hungry, I need a drink,' people would say to him, and he'd give them hundreds and fifties and tens. Awful lot of people crossed that man."
Kept pictures of fat ladies on his walls, claimed one man.
Always talking about Jesus Christ, said another.
Never much for nightclubbing, an old sparring partner said. Didn't drink. Stayed to himself.
The homeless boy who was so used to poverty discovered the fun of buying fancy clothes, nightclubs and entertaining a gang of friends.... Beau Jack's chief interest in life out of boxing...became the sleek beauties of Harlem who were only too pleased to entertain the champion. So said a 1955 story in Ring Digest.