Boxer Jake LaMotta, the former world middleweight champion and the inspiration for the movie Raging Bull, has died at the age of 95. LaMotta's fiancé of 25-years, Denise Baker, confirmed that LaMotta died of Dysphagia pneumonia at Palm Garden Nursing Home, in Miami, Florida, where he was given hospice care in recent weeks by Seasons Hospice.
The Bronx Bull (the Bull of the Bronx), as he was known during his career, has compiled a list of 83-19-4 with 30 K. -O. Most notable among these were six hair-raising fights with his great rival Sugar Ray Robinson. De Niro won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance, one of eight Oscar nominations for the film.
"Jake LaMotta was one of the toughest and most relentless boxers in ring history", said Hall of Fame Executive Director Edward Brophy.
After being rejected for military service during World War II for a mastoid operation on one of his ears, LaMotta, 19 at the time, turned to professional boxing.
"Working for the champ for nearly 20 years was an honor", LaMotta's agent Nick Cordasco told Omnisport in an email.
Gaining fans old and young, from generations present and gone-by, LaMotta's legendary status is safe in the sport as we say goodbye to a true icon of boxing.
After his retirement from boxing, LaMotta owned and managed bars.
Born Giacobbe LaMotta on July 10, 1921, his was a hardscrabble upbringing in a Bronx tenement. The critically acclaimed Martin Scorsese biographical depicted LaMotta on his rise towards his world title challenge, and subsequent fall as his career became gripped in his self-destructive rage and jealousy that destroyed his relationship with his family. They were set for a rematch later in the year, but the Frenchman was killed in a plane crash. He is pre-deceased by two sons, Jack and Joseph, who died seven months apart in 1998.
A daughter, Christi LaMotta, announced his death in a Facebook post but did not provide additional details.