"Jack struck a double blow when he became heavyweight champion," said the minister. "If we hadn't had a Jack, we wouldn't have a Joe now." The reference was to Joe Louis, who then held the heavyweight title. In a sense, that statement could serve as Johnson's best epitaph and a justification for a life too often marred by selfishness and arrogance. During it, many persons had denounced and detested him, yet he stayed warm in the hearts of others who greatly needed someone to admire. For them, Jack Johnson's career was a source both of pride and inspiration.