Sonny Liston

liston1May 8, 1932* – December 30, 1970

Charles “Sonny” Liston was the Heavyweight Champion of the world in 1962. Liston beat Floyd Patterson in a mostly unexpected knockout to gain the title. Sonny’s reputed mob connections delayed the fight for for years, but he proved his worth in the ring with a lightning fast knockout in the first round. Liston’s attempts at defending his title against some guy named “Ali” proved unsuccessful and, after two consecutive losses to him, Liston lost and never regained the title. Liston’s career and success were often portrayed stereo-typically by a still fairly racist press corps. His personal life and death were rife with speculation and controversy. At his death, many claimed a cover-up by the Las Vegas police and, given the fact that he had been dead for a while when his wife found him, the cause of death was disputed.  Officially, he died of heart failure, but everything from heroin to lung disease has been blamed. Either way, his brief and tragic life was over. His simple epitaph reads “A Man”…which is not to be confused with “THE Man.”


Davis Memorial Park – Las Vegas, NV

Specific Location

Enter the cemetery’s main entrance and turn immediately right, the road quickly bends left, then right again (south), Sonny’s grave is about 12 rows east of this right-turn corner.


*- exact date of birth is disputed

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: