Reno author signs book on boxer Dempsey

Calling it an "unwritten chapter in Nevada's history," Guy Clifton penned the account of boxing superstar Jack Dempsey's time in the Silver State.

He debuted his fourth book, "Dempsey in Nevada," at a signing party Nov. 26 at Sundance Bookstore in Reno, where nearly 100 copies were sold. He will hold another book signing from 4-6 p.m. today at Borders in Carson City.

Clifton said he spent two years researching and writing the story of the champion boxer who learned to fight as a drifter, leaving his Colorado home at 16 and traveling West by freight train.

But it wasn't Dempsey's fame that attracted the crowd.

A third-generation Nevadan who grew up in Gabbs and graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno, Clifton, a senior reporter at the Reno Gazette-Journal, has a following, both personal and professional.

Clifton said even Dempsey enthusiasts will learn something in the book.

For example, one of Dempsey's mining partners, Tex Hall, in Midas, was later convicted and served time in prison for harboring gangster Baby Face Nelson.

Dempsey also was elected as a delegate to the 1932 Nevada Republican Convention from the Mount Rose District of Reno.

Jeff Eckert, originally from San Diego, Calif., roomed with Clifton at UNR.

Eckert said he gained an appreciation for Gabbs, a recently unincorporated town he and Clifton describe as having three bars but no stoplight, during that time. And he gained an appreciation for the author.

"We used to kid him and call him 'nice guy Clifton,'" Eckert said.

The book, he said, was more than a tribute to a world-class boxer. "Now that Guy's achieved this, it's kind of like a Cinderella story - little Guy from Gabbs."

If you go

WHAT: "Dempsy in Nevada" book signing

WHERE: Borders, 911 Topsy Lane

WHEN: 4-6 p.m. today

On The Net

For more information about Jack Dempsey, go to


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