A. Griffith, Jr.
Legendary 6-Time Winning Welterweight
and Middleweight Boxing
Subject of Televised Documentary "Ring of Fire"
S.V.A. Vice-President Emeritus
Charter Member STONEWALL Veterans' Association
Emile Griffith -- the look
of a real champ!
Emile Alphonse Griffith, Jr.,
was born in St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands on the third of
February in 1938. Though he does not look like it,
his closest friends
and all relatives knew him as "Junior". In the G.L.B.T.
communities, he was simply known by his actual and more formal
first name "Emile"!
Emile Griffith Inducted into
New York State Boxing Hall-of-Fame
Out Magazine: Gay
the most famous by far is Emile Griffith!
Emile Griffith is mostly unknown in the modern sports world -- even
to openly-Gay boxers. This story "Hand-to-Glove" in OUT (as in
Gay) magazine focuses on something unheard of until recent years:
training classes for Gay boxers! The relevant and openly-Gay author Chadwick Moore wisely delves back
into Gay sports history by highlighting Emile and thus educating the
public! Emile's longtime
friend -- who he met in early 1969 at The Stonewall Club --
comrade and former boyfriend Willson
Henderson was contacted and interviewed. FYI, Emile's
partner of over thirty years, Luis Rodrigo, was also contacted
but, sadly, still refuses to be interviewed about his Gay relationship
with Emile even over a year after the latter's demise. When he
finally reconsidered and called the author back, the story was
long-completed and the final draft submitted. The well-written
article includes Emile's professional friendships with legendary
heavyweight boxing champions such as Joe Frasier, George Foreman and Mike Tyson, two of whom he can
be seen with on this S.V.A. webfile!
[Photo of Emile to be placed here soon.]
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"
~or the book bomb by ole Ron
Rust could be subtitled~
"One.. Two... Three... This Down-for-the-Count Book
Emile A. Griffith, Jr.,
is legendary for over a half-century in the public sports world as
a 6-time world boxing
champion as both a middleweight and a welterweight. In his
a diametrically-opposed and down-low contrast, Emile was
determined, dedicated and diehard regular at many Gay after-hour
The Gold Bug and The Tenth of
Always, Gay bars such as The
Blue Bunny and Gay
dance places like The Magic Touch in Island Park, Long Island and The
STONEWALL Bar & Dance Club in Greenwich Village, NYC.
All such Gay establishments that Emile championed were
Mafia-owned and Mafia-run
and, therefore, protective, friendly and safe! All of the
Emile to be the "closet case killer fighter" who wore the tightest
and most revealing pants (not in the ring). None are
revealed in the missed opportunities book by liddle Ron-the-Con. Many in the Gay community were
particularly proud of Emile as, unlike 98% the other Gay or bisexual
figures, he had the conviction and the guts to go to Gay places.
By being visible, Emile promoted Gay civil rights regardless
of whether he realized. Obviously, he was either Gay or bisexual.
He wasn't at Gay clubs and bars on a "search and find mission" for heterosexuals.
(Well, maybe he was!) Emile's simple presence
at Gay establishments spoke volumes for the betterment, understanding and support of the Gay community!
The STONEWALL is
where Emile Griffith ultimately -- after his repeated requests
a third party faghag -- met successful white commercial
Gay male blond model Willson
That they actually met at
the now landmark Stonewall Club--
and in such a yet untold fascinating Gay way -- is a germane
relevance and interest. They were ultimately introduced by Sonia
Attkiss, coincidentally and separately a friend of both. Emile
had tried to get Sonia to intoduce him to Willson on may occasions;
howver, Willson was sincerely not interested. The 'suitor'
wasreally not any of his types. What finally
picqued Willson's interest was when Sonia informed him:
"You'd like this guy, besides sexually, as he is tough!
(Willson had gone with a tough Italian guy who was 'connected'
and who, ironically, brought Willson to The Stonewall.) Emile
actually killed a guy in the boxing ring for calling him a nasty gay
name!" A smiling Willson declared: "And I like that French
name Emile. Okay, bring him over." Subsequent to the
historic 1969 Gay Stonewall Rebellion, since his
Gay interest Willson
founded it, Emile
became a charter member and part bankroller of
the legendary STONEWALL
Veterans' Club (now "Association").
The S.V.A.'s first meeting in July 1969 was in
(kosher) deli-restaurant located on the street-level of the
apartment building The Victoria
off Fifth Avenue near Union Square in
Manhattan. Great food! It is where Willson moved to from Long
Island and Emile frequented. Sometimes,
the champ even 'stayed overnight'! Sometimes.... Shhh!
And, then again, sometimes not! The
building staff constantly asked Willson for a head's up when
Emile would be
visiting next so that they could catch another glimpse of him or
hopefully get an
autograph. Everyone on the staff knew that Willson & Emile
were an item on the "Gay menu"! Some on the all-male
staff would tip off many tenants who did stake-outs in the
Willson smartly had Emile go from The Victoria garage, where he
car, up the elevator bi-passing the lobby level directly to the eighth
floor! FYI Note: Up to this
point, all of the above real-life 411 and a helluva lot more is not even hinted in the allegedly
out! Gay book.
Since Emile and Willson Henderson's
unexpected reunion -- after
former called the latter, just like in the good ole Gay days --
exactly a quarter-of-a-century absence (1979 through
2004), resumed via
official nomination and formal election being
the S.V.A. First Vice-President. Misrepresentation in
book portrayed total shock as if one morning Emile woke
up and suddenly discovered that he was the Vice-President of
the S.V.A. once again and that
this news was printed on pink paper in red crayon as a Gay
note under his pillow which
was delivered by The Tooth
Fairy! Whatever, it really was a welcomed
surprise to have Emile back again -- at least as a former
and as an official in
the S.V.A. Although Emile could not remember nearly as much as he
he surely felt the
welcoming, familiar and cordial vibes. Besides, many others
do remember in rainbow detail!
Many SVA-ers such as Jeremiah Newton, Adrienne Seiden, Leigh McManus, Carole Williams, Bert Coffman, Lucy Santiago and Jackie Tolkowsky all of whom are
alive (as of 2020) -- vividly recall Emile at Willson Lee Henderson's luxury
apartment at The Victoria
off Fifth Avenue throughout the entire 1970s. Many Stonewall veterans such as David Foxworth and Sonia Attkiss and Michael Toney who are are no longer with us would have testified to same! Particularly recalled are all
the great music, homemade foods, fun-filled Gay parties with
no shortage of
opportunities, booze or celebrities. Emile was wide-eyed amazed,
as just one example, to meet the
actual songwriter and first performer of the #1 national song "The
Twist" -- no, not Chubby
Checker but -- Hank Ballad.
It was at Willson's well-known and well-attended annual
wear-sumthin-red-or-don't-cum "Valentine's Party" in 1975.
Hank came with a woman in red who looked like Barbra! Oh, look, there's Gay Ken Paige from "The Wiz"!
Isn't that the Gay writer Russell
from the New York Daily News? Hey,
there's that tall (6' 6"), black, handsome Gay guy that Gay Raymond St. Jacques pretends is
his "son" routine? Yeah, Sterling!
And, Dave Crawford,
the black secret Gay songwriter, brought the demo of the new
record that he wrote and produced for Candi Staton.
One of The Hines Brothers
is here; it's the Gay one but I'm not sure which one as they both
come off Gay! Aren't
they both Gay? It's Maurice. At these Gay-flavored parties
is where many people first heard
of much less met Emile Griffith. Unfortunately, none of any
of this is in the out! Gay book either. Yipes! The soft
book is over 90%
very long boxing career and intricate boxing details. Much
of it is bor-ing! Five- or
six-percent is about problems and heartaches
caused by foul-mouthed, bigotted
and/or shady anti-Gay relatives on both sides of Emile's fence.
With literally no remaining room in the
booklette, hardly anything comes
"out" Gay! The book's title is like the early 1970s Laura Lee
song that Emile loved so much back in the year: "Rip-Off"!
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
Bi the way, Emile won! His other three fights (not at MSG)
later that year were all humbling losses. Willson, 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 Watts, dancer Eddie Wright, entertainer Sterling St. Jacques, dee-jay Gregory Demps, model Michael Toney, dealer David Ali, basketball Darren Prince Taylor, singer Donald Ray Williams,
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 James Lochard ended up in
prison upstate New York!
For an entire exciting decade -- the 1970s -- of Emile Griffith and Willson Henderson, the unimaginative yet
snippy writer's only revelation
that Emile Griffith recalls that they visited Willson's
mother in Long Beach, New York, and
that, afterwards, they went out! for ice
cream. How Gay! Damn, is that break-through exciting news?
We fantasize that Willson ate chocolate and Emile
For your info (of course, not in
the bare book), it was a free-standing, drive-in, former Carvel ice cream store but,
no longer under that franchise, it was now cleverly named "Marvel".
even liked the name. Emile enjoyed driving up to the
in-full-view place in a flashy
luxury convertible. No, the
car was owned and paid for by Willson -- not Emile. The ice
cream place is in Lido (not Long) Beach, Long Island, and it is still
was also not stated that the "fishing buddies" (though neither
Willson and Emile always drove (never train or bus) to L.I. as
being like a 'married couple'. Emile reasonably demanded and got
his wish that no one be with them on these homestyle private
Willson was apt to bring friends to everything and everywhere.
The one exception on these trips was, however, Willson's
Siamese cat Mon Cher, which delighted Emile.
Willson drove; Mon Cher rode on Emile's lap. They always drove to L.I. in the
now-famous 1969 blue convertible "Stonewall Car"! Emile called
Willson's mother "Mommie". Like a great mother-in-law,
she always specially made Emile's favorite dish: Cornish
hen! Who knew -- not in
Although the STONEWALL
Veterans' Association ("S.V.A.") is mentioned several times and
is ignorantly misspelled each and every time, the uninformative, diminutive, third-rate
writer Ron 'Ron-Ro' Ross neglects to define
the S.V.A. or even says one thing that the renowned organization did or does!
By definition, a book is supposed to 'inform'; not this one!
In this uninformative book -- despite 39 years and about 10
verified website visits annually -- the S.V.A. at "Out!" is a
blank slate. Is it a
military group? Is it a
servicemen's organization? Is it part of the U.S. Veterans
Administration? Most non-Gay sports book readers would not
know. Trust us, we know. The writer
interviewed or queeried any of Emile's
Stonewall veterans -- not even Willson Henderson! That sure was dumb!
WLH by the subjective writer were ham-sandwiched after the latter
fag-hagged Emile and Willson's reunion supper at a second-rate,
coffee shop in Chelsea -- selected by and the small tab picked
up by the
person serreptitiously writing a book! WLH was
unaware that he was the sitting and
eating target for a secret scripting. The
salacious writer did report
Willson "...took a last bite of his cheeseburger".
Scintillating! Was the meat medium rare? Hot!
What about the pickle? Notably
present at this reunion is Emile's current boyfriend Luis Rodrigo, who is actually
meeting Willson for the first time. This is
bookworthy yet not mentioned. What did they think of each other?
What were their reactions? Did Luis envy Willson?
Does he still? In fact, vividly not stated in the book,
principals had their current boyfriends!!
Only SVA-ers Storme
DeLarverie, referred as a "former female vocalist and male
impersonator" (wtf?), and Willson, described
as "whiter-than-white" (huh?) and "Peter Pan-ish" (slurish as in
shown in any pix (two each) in the bookbore. BTW,
the lesson-challenged writer Ron-Ro
should have learned from Emile's famous 1963 fight not to taunt someone
with a Gay slur! Duh! Storme's
last name is misspelled (in two places and two times). That
is irrefutably reckless as the unobservant writer has probably been to
the S.V.A. website over 100 times and he has had S.V.A. flyers for
years and he has received S.V.A. e-mails monthly for years --
all of which have Storme's name. Hey, can't he even copy?
Yeah, you guessed it. The paperback
writer even has Willon's name wrong, two! Damn! Though
they are plentiful,
there are no photos of EAG and WLH from the 1970s! The
writer's imagination is a wasteland. He pathetically turned
an exciting person with an exciting story into a borefest.
Fastforward thirty years to Emile and his current partner Luis Rodrigo shown in
photo backed by the S.V.A. banner with film producer Dan Klores, stage director George C. Wolfe, screenwriter Stephen A. Guirgis and
Willson (who arranged this
planned EAG movie project pow-wow) out! at
the 2006 New York City Gay Business Expo; however, the latter
four are unidentified!!!!
A book is intended to be informative. Not this one. AnDre Christie of the S.V.A. took
the photo but he was wrongly not credited. Though Emile, Luis,
Willson and AnDre have double-dated and been out! to dinner a dozen times and out! to
other events another dozen times 4gether, you would never
know any of it from the allegedly out! book.
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
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
[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
tentative and looking confused At least Willson is looking
out for him! In fact,
Emile just completed a
3-hour part in a nine-hour Gay Pride parade. The book
by idiotic, wannabee, liddle Ron 'Ross' erroneously (one of about ninety errors)
describes this odd photo as "Gettin' ready for the Gay Pride
Parade". Huh? 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
STONEWALL Rebellion Veterans Association contingency. This scene is in front
of the Hudson
Corner Cafe restaurant on Hudson Street. That's the famous 1969 blue
"Stonewall Car" in color
not the borebook's cheezy black and white version that Emile
is precariously exiting. The famous convertible
is 'unidentified' in the book!? Duh!
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
= = = = = = = =
411 submitted exclusively for the S.V.A. by:
Leigh P. McManus, S.V.A.
"The only thing 'out' is if you lay 'out' any cash for this
reporter Vito Abzuzzoluccione
"Hey, it's not the worst book
I've ever semi-read, but it's one of 'em!"
from a real closet case former boxer Matthew
these two older men can be as wannabee private as
they want but don't then march (really ride) in the public Gay
Pride Parade especially in New York City 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
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
by S.V.A. Executive Committee member Mary
"At the last S.V.A.
meeting -- with a no-show by the lying writer who had confirmed
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!
remarks from S.V.A. office manager AnDre
"Whenever Emile Griffith and his longtime
(how many decades) boyfriend Luis Rodrigo (aka Luisa) are out with
Willson Henderson 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!"
* * *
* * * * * * * *
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
The New York City Gay Business Expo is an annual event. Since
and Luis were confirmed as two of the people manning the display
of the STONEWALL Veterans'
Association ("S.V.A.") and since Dan Klores
wanted evryone to get
together regarding the upcoming "Emile" movie project, Willson
suggested and Dan agreed that they would all rendezvous at the NYC Gay
Although Dan promised to support the non-profit, legendary S.V.A.
-- especially since his film subject "Emile" was a charter member and
current officer of the S.V.A. -- Mr. Klores never gave a dollar!
Pictured above are: George Wolfe, film and stage director;
Emile Griffith (photo is darker than he is), the Gay subject of
said movie project; Willson Henderson, S.V.A. President and S.A.G.
actor; Stephen Guirgis (wearing mid-Eastern hat), actor and writer; and
Dan Klores, communications guru and film producer (but very frugal when it came to the S.V.A. It was a
full-house G.L.B.T. Expo at the N.Y.C. Javits Convention Center in
Emile received plenty of sports-minded, curiosity and
Gay attention! Althgough supposedly representing the S.V.A.
for just a few hours, the always self-promoting Emile's
longtime Gay partner Luis Rodrigo whipped out a hidden supply of 8 x
10 Emile Griffith
boxing promotional photos from
his sports championship years to distribute for sale. Luis was always looking to make a bick via the champ! In
return, the buyer also received an in-person autograph from accommodating Emile. The S.V.A. sat by
empty-handed. Dan Klores, the producer of
the Emile Griffith USA-tv documentary, "Ring of Fire", joined us at the
display site for the pre-planned visit. The purpose
discuss the upcoming movie based on Emile's
controversial, celebrated, exciting and unique
life. That is why producer Dan brought the film's director George
Wolfe and its screenwriter Stephen Guirgis.
They did some background interviewing of Willson about
interesting Stonewall days -- and nights -- from 1966 to 1969! The now
famous 1969 convertible "Stonewall Car", which Emile drove many times yesteryear, is
part of the
real story -- ten long and fun years before Emile met Luis. [Dan
Klores subsequent to this event again promised to make a sponsorship to the non-profit, civil rights
and educational S.V.A.; however, that phony promise was also false.]
Note: Willson is
unnecessarily crouched down because the two 'heavyweights' behind
him would not move down from Emile although they all there thanks to
[Photo by AnDre
Errata: In the non-out
book, AnDre is wrongly not credited for his photo.
Also, in the '8-9-10' book, this color photo is cheaply reduced to black
Emile is the guest speaker at his
own STONEWALL Veterans' Association
Boxing Champ Emile Griffith on the cover of a Florida T.V.
Note: They front-page printed the wrong day for the movie
[Courtesy of Helen A. Henderson]
Special Screening of "Ring of Fire" -- (most of) the Emile
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
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
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
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
DeLarverie, Sonia Jane Attkiss, Eddie
Wright, Jr., Leigh P. McManus, David Jenkins-Foxworth, Electra O'Mara,
Terri Van Dyke, Amir Qaharr, Dave West, Antoine Williams, Lucy
Santiago, Leroi Carr, Adrienne Seiden, David Ali, Carole
al. Among the other celebrities -- besides Emile -- at the party
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 (the not-so-secret Gay lover of black actor Raymond St. Jacques) who slept over in the master bedroom). What
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
[Photo in 1971 by Heavyweight Boxing Champ and Best Man Joe
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.
On second and third look, Willson's outfit below the waist is a kind of 'knock-out'!
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
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 of Mount Vernon, NY]
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 January 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
Emile Griffith's Stellar Boxing
and with more boxing matches -27- at Madison Square Garden than any
Champion boxer Emile "E.G." Griffith is
shown wearing black
boxing trunks and going down in the white trunks with his butt
out and part of his white jock strap hanging out is
("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,
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
[Signed Emile Griffith photo courtesy of STONEWALL
Veterans Assn. Archives]
* * * * *
* * * *
* * * * * * * * *
* * * * * * * * *
2019 -- Five years After.....
German Review of and Tribute to Emile Griffith
-- in their "Bern L.G.B.T." Series
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Emile Griffith lived in Hempstead, Long Island, New York,
in his remaining years with his longtime -- 35 years -- partner
Luis A. Rodrigo until Emile succumbed in 2013 at age of 75!
Gravesite of Emile Griffith
at prestigious St. Michael's Cemetery
in East Elmhurst, Queens, New York
Gay History Month
If you have photos of Emile Griffith, please send them or copies of the pix
to the S.V.A. (see address below). Originals will be returned, if you so request.
You may e-mail photos with all relevant 411 to: SVA@StonewallVets.org.
All photos get photo credits and, if desired, the S.V.A. will actively connect
a link to your website!
STONEWALL Veterans' Association
70-A Greenwich Av., Suite 120, Manhattan, NY 10011
51st Anniversary of the GLBT Stonewall Rebellion =====
[Friday night, June 27
~through~ Thursday evening, July 3, 1969, Manhattan, New York City]