Vintage Postcards of Bayside, New York
Known as "Gentleman Jim," James John Corbett was credited as being boxing's first heavyweight champion of the world having knocked out the Boston Strong Boy, John L. Sullivan, in 1897. Corbett became famous for his elegant style in and out of the ring as well as for inventing the left hook. He held the heavyweight title for five years until he was defeated by the Australian boxer, Robert Fitzsimmons, in 1903.
In 1902 Corbett and his wife, Vera, moved to Bayside Boulevard and Third Avenue (now 221st Street and Corbett Road) and purchased this Queen Anne style home built by architect Louis Berger from real estate developer John Dayton.
After Corbett's championship defeat he continued to box for a short period of time while also pursuing other endeavors. Corbett owned a saloon on lower Broadway in Manhattan and had a career as an actor. Gentleman Jim made his film debut in The Man from the Golden West, which opened in September 1913, and continued on to make a dozen feature films, shorts, and serials as well as perform on the Vaudeville stage.
Corbett lived in this Bayside home until his death of liver cancer in 1933. His wife, Vera, remained in the home until her death in 1959.
Gentleman Jim Corbett's home still stands today and remains a private residence.