SBJ/June 11 - 17, 2007/This Weeks News

Joe Louis subject of HBO Sports documentary

HBO Sports has slated a documentary about the life of boxing great Joe Louis as its first offering of 2008. The program is scheduled to debut in February, HBO Sports President Ross Greenburg said.

The Joe Louis documentary currently is in production, which is expected to end around October.

HBO Sports generally rolls out four documentaries per year.

“Joe Louis was the first crossover male athlete who was black,” Greenburg said. “He was the most heroic black figure in American society up to that point.”

Greenburg, who has wanted to produce a documentary about “The Brown Bomber” for the better part of a decade, has struck up a friendship with the boxer’s son, Joe Louis Barrow Jr., who is helping HBO with the documentary.

“I always told him that we would do a definitive account of his father when the time was right,” Greenburg said. “The time is right.”

Louis gained fame as boxing’s heavyweight champion for 11 years in the 1930s and ’40s. He died in poverty in 1981.

HBO also plans to debut its two-hour documentary on the Brooklyn Dodgers on July 11, the day after baseball’s All-Star Game. It also has slated the Ohio State-Michigan documentary that features the last interview of legendary coach Bo Schembechler for Nov. 13.

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