It has been reported that boxing legend Jake LaMotta, the famous figure who inspired the Oscar-winning film "Raging Bull," died Tuesday at age 95. His wife, Denise Baker, confirmed the death to ABC News, adding that he died from complications of pneumonia.
According to TMZ, LaMotta's health deteriorated considerably in the last few weeks. He was put on feeding tubes, which he kept pulling out. In the last few days, his health got particularly bad, and the decision was made to withdraw the tube.
Jake's wife tells TMZ, "I just want people to know, he was a great, sweet, sensitive, strong, compelling man with a great sense of humor, with eyes that danced."
LaMotta was born in the Bronx to Italian immigrants. He began boxing at a young age after his father urged him to fight other boys in the neighborhood as a form of community entertainment. Crowds would throw change into the ring after the fight, which LaMotta's father would use to pay the rent.
At age 19, he would turn to the world of professional boxing.
LaMotta became a world middleweight champion in the late 1940s, but he was better known for his six iconic fights against Sugar Ray Robinson that spanned almost a decade. In total, LaMotta was 18-23 with 4 draws. He earned the reputation as "The Raging Bull" for his rough style in the ring as a middleweight fighter.
You can watch one of his iconic fights in the video below.
His amazing legacy was heightened after he retired from boxing in the mid-1950s. After retirement, he published his very own memoir "Raging Bull: My Story." Then he decided to try out acting, and was featured in more than a dozen films. In 1980, he was the inspiration for Robert De Niro's Oscar-winning performance in the epic "Raging Bull." And in 1990, the legendary boxer was finally inducted into the Boxing Hall of Fame.
“He was a great man, sensitive and had eyes that danced right up to the end. I love him, God rest his soul,” his wife said of her late husband's career, adding, “He never went down!”
Please pray for his family. And please let us know what you thought of this tremendous boxer in the comments on our Facebook page. In breaking news, 25 were just reported dead in the tragic collapse of an elementary school.