F Scott Fitzgerald once said there are no second acts in American lives. He must never heard of Dove-Ber Rasofsky. Dove-ver, or Earl, was born in Chicago in 1909. His parents were Russian Jews who fled the pogroms Brest-Litosvst. His father was a Talmudic scholar and rabbi who had to operate a small vegetable store to support his wife and four children. In later years, his eldest son would recall that his father always urged him to be a scholar rather than a fighter and even told him, “Jews don’t fight back.” Doe-ver never, and I do mean never, got with the program on not fighting back. As he grew up, he proved to be extremely good with his fists.
In 1924, when Earl was still in his teens, life handed him an extremely bad break. His father was shot and killed when some thugs robbed his vegetable store. His mother had a nervous breakdown and was institutionalized, and Dove-Ver’s three younger siblings, Ida, Sam, and George, were all placed in an orphanage. Dove-ver decided he wanted his family back. At that point in his life, he was running with a *really* rough crowd, including a childhood friend named Jack Rubenstein who later shortened his name to Jack Ruby and moved off to Dallas, where everybody heard of him Nov 24, 1964.
It’s not clear exactly how deep his involvement was, but Dove-Ver knew some guys who knew Al Capone. Fortunately, he chose to make a living in an honest, but extremely tough game after making some success as an amateur fighter.
Even as an adult he was only 5’7” and his fighting weight was between 130-140 lbs. He was not a big man, but he could scrap. ,In September of 1929, two months before his 20th birthday, Dove-Ver started fighting professionally under the name of Barney Ross. Three and a half years later, he was lightweight champion of the world. By the time he hung up the gloves after 10 years as a professional fighter, he had 79 fights with 72 wins and only 4 losses. Nobody ever knocked him out. He’d won two world championship belts as a lightweight and a welterweight, and he succeeded in reuniting his family.