Jake LaMotta, subject of the iconic film “Raging Bull” and former middleweight boxing champion, has died at the age of 95. According to the New York Times, LaMotta’s fiancée of 25 years, Denise Baker, said he died of dysphagia pneumonia at Palm Garden Nursing Home in Miami, Florida where he been admitted for hospice care recently.

Baker told ABC, per ESPN,

“He was a great man, sensitive, and had eyes that danced right up to the end. I love him; God rest his soul,” Baker told ABC. “And he never went down!”

Jake LaMotta, a self proclaimed “good-for-nothing bum kid,” was born in the Bronx but learned to box in an upstate New York reformatory, where he had been sent for attempted burglary, according to the NY Times. LaMotta held boxing’s middleweight title from 1949 to 1951 and is best known for his bouts against Sugar Ray Robinson as well as Robert De Niro’s portrayal of him in the 1980s film, “Raging Bull.” 

De Niro won an Academy Award for best actor, and the movie collected one other Oscar for best film editing, as well as eight total nominations, including for best picture.

According to ESPN, after viewing the movie, LaMotta said, “When I saw the film, I was upset. I kind of look bad in it. Then I realized it was true. That’s the way it was. I was a no-good bastard. I realize it now. It’s not the way I am now, but the way I was then.”

LaMotta fought from 1941 to 1954, amassing an 83-19-4 record, including 30 knockouts in his career. In 1990, he was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame.

Check out some comments regarding his passing below.


Jake LaMotta

Jake LaMotta, Boxing's "Raging Bull," Dies At Age 95