A. Griffith, Jr.
Legendary 6-Time Winning Welterweight
and Middleweight Boxing Champion
Subject of Documentary "Ring of Fire"
STONEWALL Rebellion Veterans Association
S.V.A. Vice-President Emeritus
Founding Member STONEWALL Vets Assn.
Two Champs: Mike Tyson! + Emile Griffith!
Photo taken at annual Boxing Convention in Upstate New York
[Copyrighted Photograph by David "Boxing Kid" Selwyn]
Griffith Marches in NYC Gay Pride Parade
with the STONEWALL Rebellion Veterans' Association
The Emile Griffith Gay book was bare-ly "Out"!
To quote JoAnne Worley on "Laugh-In": "Borrrrrrrrrr-ing!"
"Nine... Ten... Out! The Two
Worlds of Emile Griffith"
Absolutely nothing Gay -- surely no Gay male lover relationship -- is developed. Emile Griffith and Willson Henderson's interesting and notorious involvement spanned a decade. They started in 1969 and, as one spanning sample, Willson was front-row center at Emile's final fight in Madison Square Garden (but not final fight) in 1977 against a boxer named Christy. Bi the way, Emile won! His other three fights (not at MSG) later that year were all humbling losses. Williamson, among many loyal others, were very concerned about Emile's well-being now and for the future. The EAG & WLH relationship was on/off based mostly on when it was mutually convenient and neither one was otherwise involved with another male lover. Emile primarily had troubling "Spanish Matthew" looming and lurking, until Matty shot some guy point-blank dead in their New Jersey lovenest apartment. Emile was home at the time. Scandal! Meanwhile, Willson had actor John W, dancer Eddie W, entertainer Sterling S, dee-jay Gregory D, model Michael T, dealer David A, basketball Darren T, singer Donald W, et al. Yes, in their on/off Gay game, Emile had met all of them and, some, many times! Hey, where are those pix? Don't lookie in the bookie! Under the umbrella of "out!", on one occasion at WLH's The Victoria apartment, they even adopted a sometimes heterosexual pasttime and swapped partners!! All four on one occasion earlier posed for a stand-up picture 4gether! Bi the way, the Emile hot Puerto Rican guy Lochard ended up in prison upstate New York!
All originally-color pictures were downgraded to cheaper-to-print and excruciatingly diminished black and white pictures. More diminishment for the viewer. We never saw the quad-colorful S.V.A. banner in dull black and white prior to this. Ugh! The classic "Stonewall Car" that Emile knows for over 39 years -- and has proudly driven with Willson in the past and rides in for the annual New York City Gay Pride Parade -- is scarcely shown in only one photo (with Emile coming out! of the car) but the famous vehicle is inexplicably unidentified! It is one of the most famous cars in America!
Willson, Storme and Emile arriving at the SVA's post-Parade "SW-Duncheon"
[Photography by the SVA's O.P. Hal M. Weiner]
This is one of the S.V.A. photos in the disappointing Gay book on Emile. Why this
unflattering to all photo was used defies judgment. Emile is caught off-guard, acting
tentative and looking confused At least Willson is looking out for him! In fact,
Emile just completed a 3-hour Gay parade. The book erroneously (1 of 90 errors)
describes this odd photo as "Gettin' ready for the Gay Pride Parade". Hunh? What
inaccuracy! The lazy writer should have asked one of the subjects or photographer
(who he telephoned for free photo permission) or Emile's nearby lover Luis (who the
champ is eyeing in this pic) chatting up with some younger Gay guy. The reality is the
exact opposite: this photo depicts a scene after the parade is over for the lead S.V.A.
contingency. This scene is in front of the Hudson Corner Cafe restaurant on Hudson
Street. That's the famous blue "Stonewall Car" in color not borebook black and white
that Emile is precariously exiting. The classy convertible is 'unidentified' in the book!?
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Stonewall Newzletta 411 submitted exclusively for the S.V.A. by:
Leigh P. McManus, S.V.A. Editor-in-Chief
"The only thing 'out' is if you lay 'out' any cash for this boring book."
reporter Vito Abzuzzoluccione
"Hey, it's not the worst book I've ever semi-read, but it's one of 'em!"
plus... reaction from a real closet case former boxer Matthew Samuelson:
"Yo, these two older men can be as wannabee private as they want but don't then march (really ride) in the public Gay (hello!) Pride Parade and be the Gay subject of a Gay film and a Gay book and Gay magazines and Gay interviews and, after all that and then some, then cry "We're not Gay"!? C'mon! Someone gotta be 'tupid not to know.... These two guys met in a prison about 30 years ago with a 30-year age gap and one an x-boxer and now correction officer and the other a hormone-raging tough teenage petty criminal prisoner!
...and commentary by S.V.A. Executive Committee member Mary S. Twist:
"At the last S.V.A. meeting -- with a no-show by the lying writer who had confirmed attendance to be "supportive of the S.V.A. and answer questions about his book comments" -- I read for free in the one and only complementary copy of the paperback about a half-dozen boring pages in the "out!" chapter. I am not the type to dish but let me tell you that I had to be bitch-slapped to keep from dozing! Borrrrring! Zzzzzzzzzzzz!"
...and happy remarks from S.V.A. office manager AnDre M. Christie
"Whenever Emile Griffith and his longtime (how many decades) boyfriend Luis Rodrigo (aka Luisa) are out with Williamson and me at an event like the NYC Gay Pride Parade in Manhattan or the NYC Gay Expo at the Javits Center or out to dinner at a public restaurant after a monthly S.V.A. meeting, Emile and Luis are very themselves. We always have a nice time and fun! There's no question that Emile and Luis are a Gay couple. Anyone who knows them knows that fact. Period!"
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Happily pictured above at the Gay
Biz Expo are
(l-2-r): George Wolfe, Emile Griffith, Willson Henderson,
Stephen Guirgis, Luis Rodrigo and Dan Klores
[Photo by AnDre M. Christie]
Note: In the non-out book, AnDre is wrongly not credited for his photo.
Also, in the '8-9-10' book, this color photo is reduced to black and white.
Emile is the guest speaker at his own STONEWALL Veterans' Assn.
Boxing Champ Emile Griffith on the cover of a Florida T.V.
Note: They front-page printed the wrong day for the movie premier!
[Courtesy of Helen A. Henderson]
Special Screening of "Ring of Fire" -- (most of) the Emile Griffith Story
Standing tight: Emile Griffith & Willson Henderson
very 2gether in 1975
[Photo by N.Y.C. model Michael D. Toney]
This picture is memorable not only because it is of two legends -- sports and Gay, respectively -- and in addition to the fact that it is a certified classic but because it was taken on "Gay Pride Weekend" at a "Gay Pride Party" celebrating in 1974 the 5th anniversary of the 1969 Stonewall Rebellion. Clearly, it is an intimate pic. They couldn't be any closer and still standing! As a matter of fact, the photo was taken on the eve of "Stonewall Sunday", the day of the annual New York City Gay Pride Parade. The location of this photo is Willson Henderson's luxurious apartment at The Victoria -- a stone's throw from Fifth Avenue and, thus, the same stone's throw to the Gay Pride Parade route, which then went up Fifth Avenue. Emile usually kept his 1974 Lincoln Town Car (at this time) in the garage of The Victoria. That is exactly where the 1969 "Stonewall Car" was kept (at that time). Emile enjoyed entering the building privately from a garage elevator directly up to the eighth floor residence of Willson. It avoided the big and busy lobby and E.G. being besieged by yearning staff and admiring fans for photographs and autographs -- and, of course, "questions"! All of the building's staff knew Emile and regularly asked Willson: "When's the champ coming next? Let me know!" Some of the other S.V.A. Stonewall veterans, besides Willson and Emile, who were at the festive party (see picture above) include: Michael Toney, Steven Konigsberg, Storme DeLarverie, Sonia Jane Attkiss, Eddie Wright, Jr., Leigh P. McManus, David Jenkins-Foxworth, Electra O'Mara, Stanley Dunne, Terri Van Dyke, Amir Qaharr, Dave West, Antoine Williams, Lucy Santiago, Leroi Carr, Adrienne Seiden, David Ali, Carole Williams, et al. Among the other celebrities -- besides Emile -- at the party were R&B singer Hank Ballad ("The Twist"), record producer Dave Crawford (most of Candi Staton's hit songs), child actor song Parker "The Hardy Boys" Stevenson,.writer and producer Lincoln Chase ("The Name Game"), Broadway star Ken Paige (currently in "Dreamgirls"), boy model Kelly McInerney, and 6' 6" actor/model Sterling St. Jacques (who slept over in the master bedroom). What a parrrrrty!
Emile Griffith at a NYC Gay Manhattan party
Emile Griffith, Michael Toney and Gerald I.
"Gerry" Paige in 1974
[Photo by Willson Henderson in Manhattan, N.Y.]
This photo was taken in Willson Henderson's luxury apartment at The Victoria Apartments between Fifth Avenue and Union Square in Manhattan, NYC. It was a place which Emile unabashedly enjoyed and felt secure and very comfortable at in all ways and at all times. In this photo, notice the record album cover pix of Barbra Streisand, Diana Ross, Marvin Gaye and Eddie Kendricks!
[More prideful Emile Griffith party pix in S.V.A. storage to eventually come "out"!]
Paradoxical trio: Emile Griff, Blushing Bride
and Willson Henderson
Note: Emile had his designer Charles create this lavender and white
with fringe, two-piece, gayish jumpsuit for Willson for the "wedding"!
[Photo in 1971 by Heavyweight Boxing Champ and Best Man Joe Frasier]
Iron-y: Emile Griffith's Boyfriend's Mother Helen Henderson
(aka his Mother-in-Law)
with Emile's 'Best Man' Heavyweight Boxing Champion Joe Frazier (who asked no
questions but def caught the drift) with Emile's Gay Boyfriend Willson Henderson
Note: WLH did not want his mother at this Gay undercurrent happening but
Emile insisted big time and invited Mrs. Henderson in person and she accepted!
This was not the first time that the two teamed up and out-voted Willson.
[Photo taken by Emile & Willson's close Stonewall Club fag-hag Adrienne Seiden]
Emile switched with the Bride for a pic next to Willson
[Photo taken by Joe Frazier]
1970: Emile Griffith and his Boyfriend Willson Henderson
NYC Gay celebrity couple: Emile and Willson dressed stylishly and colorfully
[Photo by mutual Gay friend Vaughn Fubler]
Note: This pic was discovered in the treasure trove of pix held by Willson's mother!
Emile Griffth and Willson Henderson's social agenda was anchored primarily in Gay life. In addition, throughout the 1970s, once they met (in 1969 at The STONEWALL Club), Willson attended all of Emile's boxing matches -- "always a huge production and like a big family matter" -- at Madison Square Garden in Manhattan, New York; the Spectrum in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and Boston Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. Willson did not have the enthusiasm for such physical fights the way some financially-benefiting members of Emile's family had, especially his very loud, over-the-top mother. Willson was often heard stating: "You don't like seeing someone that U love getting hit!" Emile finally retired from boxing (long after he should have) in the Summer of 1977.
Close-Up + Sizzlin': World Middle-Weight Boxing
Champion Emile Griffith
[Emile Griffith publicity photo from the David Selwyn Boxing Kid Collection]
Emile Griffith's Stellar Boxing Bouts
BoxRec.com/list_bouts.php/Griffith_id=9017/boxerand with more boxing matches -27- at Madison Square Garden than any boxer!
Champion boxer Emile "E.G." Griffith is shown wearing black boxing trunks and going down in the white trunks with his butt sticking out and part of his white jock strap hanging out is Benny Paret
Emile A. Griffith, Jr. ("EAG"), was a consummate boxing fighter. Among other outstanding facts in his illustrious career, Emile met 10 world boxing champions in the boxing ring! EAG boxed 339 "title-fight" rounds -- more than any other boxer in history!!
Many sports magazines, including Sports Illustrated and others, contact the STONEWALL Rebellion Veterans' Association ("S.V.A.") throughout the year. Unfortunately, they are typically demanding and empty-handed. Sports Illustrated has been to S.V.A. meetings! The S.V.A. usually does not grant media interviews or provide additional information or personal details when their motive is clearly sensationalism -- or they somehow think that they are doing the S.V.A. a favor! Thus, S.I. was denied any interviews by the S.V.A. After SI's pushy and tacky reporter kept on insisting, SVA's Willson Henderson told him: "No!" (Their subsequent unflattering story on the legendary Emile Griffith and his too-much-info current health condition received mixed reviews.)
Emile Griffith was literally "sitting on top of the world"! What a spread!
[Signed Emile Griffith photo courtesy of STONEWALL Vets Assn. Archives]
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2019 -- Five years After.....German Review of and Tribute to Emile Griffith
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Gravesite of Emile Griffith
at prestigious St. Michael's Cemetery
in East Elmhurst, Queens, New York
If you have photos of Emile Griffith, please send them to the S.V.A.
Originals will be returned, if requested. All photos get photo credits
and, if desired, the S.V.A. will actively connect it to your website!
50th Anniversary of the GLBT Stonewall Rebellion =====
[Friday night, June 27 ~through~ Thursday evening, July 3, 1969, Manhattan, New York City]
Emile's Final Fight