Jack Johnson in pictures

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World champ

Boxer Jack Johnson, the first African-American world heavyweight champion, was sentenced to a year in jail in 1913 for violating a law prohibiting black men from crossing state lines with white women. Now, lawmakers and former heavyweight champ Mike Tyson have created an online petition seeking a posthumous presidential pardon for Johnson at change.org. See gallery

Boxer Jack Johnson, who was born in Galveston, Texas, in 1878, became the first African-American to win the world champion heavyweight boxing title. In approximately 113 bouts, he had only six losses and was inducted into the Boxing Hall of Fame in 1954.

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Great, but unpopular

Johnson was one of the greatest, yet most unpopular, heavyweight boxers of all time. In 1908 he took the world title from Tommy Burns and held on to it until Jess Willard beat him in 1915.  

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Portrait of a fight

Middleweight champion Stanley Ketchel, left, and Johnson touch gloves while squaring off before their fight "David vs. Goliath" fight in San Francisco in 1909. Johnson, who in 1908 became the first African-American to win the heavyweight crown, won the match. 

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Down for the count

Johnson looks on as opponent Stan Ketchel is counted out on Oct. 16, 1909.

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Against "the great white hope"

Johnson defended his championship title against "The Great White Hope," James J. Jeffries, in Reno, Nev., on July 4, 2010.

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Losing his title

Johnson fought Jess Willard in Havana, Cuba, in 1915. Willard took the world heavyweight championship title with a knock-out in the 26th round. He held onto it until 1919.  

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Jack and his wife

Johnson married Lucille Cameron. She was his second wife. 

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Traveling

Johnson's marriage to Lucille made for scandal in the United States, and the couple traveled to Europe in 1913, fleeing his conviction for crossing state lines with a white woman.

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In Paris

After his conviction in 1913, Johnson skipped bail and left the country. He spent time in Paris in May 1914. He and his wife Lucille lived in exile in Europe for seven years.

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Documentary film

Johnson's life was examined in the 1970 boxing documentary "Jack Johnson."

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A crowd in London

A crowd gathers around Johnson as he arrives on Fleet Street in London. 

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Early years

Johnson, who lived in exile in Europe for seven years in the 1910s, hauls wood on his shoulder in the early 1920s. In September, 1920, Johnson began a 10-month stint in jail for his 1913 conviction.

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Wife and friends

Johnson traveled by ship with wife Lucille.

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World heavyweight champion

Jack Johnson, the first African-American world heavyweight champion, posed for a publicity shot outdoors. He died in 1946.

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