Jake LaMotta, Boxing Legend Who Inspired ‘Raging Bull,’ Dies at 95

Robert De Niro pays tribute to boxer who died Tuesday: “Rest in peace, champ”

Jake LaMotta, the boxing legend who inspired the film “Raging Bull,” has died. He was 95.

News of his death was shared by his daughter, Christi LaMotta, on Facebook on Tuesday: “Jake LaMotta July 10, 1922 – September 19, 2017. Rest in Peace Pop.”

LaMotta’s wife told TMZ that the famous boxer “died in a nursing home due to complications from pneumonia.” Another family member told the publication that LaMotta’s condition had deteriorated in the last few weeks.

LaMotta was born in the Bronx in 1922 and became a professional boxer at the age of 19. He spent most of his career fighting as a middleweight and fought professionally from 1941 to 1954 with a record of 83 wins, 19 losses and 4 draws, including 30 knockouts.

He had a famous rivalry with Sugar Ray Robinson, which led to a six-fight series. LaMotta was able to knock him down in round one during their first fight in 1942. However, that was the only bout LaMotta won out of the six, and their final fight in 1951 was one for the books. Over the span of his career he earned the title “The Raging Bull” for his aggressive fighting style.

Robert De Niro portrayed LaMotta in Martin Scorsese’s 1980 film “The Raging Bull,” which was based on LaMotta’s 1970 memoir “Raging Bull: My Story.” De Niro won an Oscar for his part, while the movie was nominated for seven other Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director.

In a statement about LaMotta’s passing, De Niro said, “Rest in peace, champ.”

William Forsythe played LaMotta in the 2016 film “The Bronx Bull.”

After LaMotta retired from boxing, he owned and managed bars and became a stage actor and comedian. He also starred in various movies and TV shows, including “The Hustler” and the NBC police comedy, “Car 54 Where Are You?” He also co-starred with O.J. Simpson in 1979’s “Firepower” and was top billed on 1989’s “Mob War.”

See Christi LaMotta’s Facebook post below.