When Angelo Dundee was born on August 30th, 1921, in South Philadelphia, Warren G. Harding, a Republican, was the President of the United States. Now, as Angelo celebrates his 90th birthday on Tuesday, August 30th, Barack Obama, a Democrat and an African American is the President of the United States. Angelo Dundee has lived long enough to see a Black man do something heretofore thought absolutely impossible.
Then again, making the impossible possible, describes perfectly the first 90 years of Angelo Dundee’s incredible life and career. It almost goes without saying that Angelo Dundee is the most celebrated and successful trainer in boxing history. He was born Angelo Merena in South Philadelphia on August 30th, 1921. Along the way, Angelo has experienced a simply incredible, jaw-dropping level of success in the world of boxing that is unlikely ever to be repeated, and certainly, never surpassed.
Of the 90 years Angelo has lived, this past year in particular has been perhaps the single toughest year of his entire life. That is because on December 28th, his beautiful wife of fifty-eight years, Helen, a former runway model and genuine Southern Belle, passed away in Palm Harbor, Florida, where they made their home. They had moved there just several years ago from Boca Raton in order to be closer to their children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.
A week or so before Helen Dundee died Angelo slipped and fell in his garage, fracturing his hip in several places. Angelo was rushed to the hospital for emergency surgery as his beloved Helen was slipping away. The loss of his wife, whom he lovingly called his, “greatest fighter ever,” has been a devastating blow for the legendary trainer. However, through a superhuman effort, Angelo has managed to summon up the strength and emotional reserves of courage necessary to continue to live, flourish and contribute greatly to the lives of all those people who are both fortunate and privileged to know him and love him. Angelo knows that this is exactly what Helen would have desired him to do