twixnmix: American boxer Joe Louis sits at the piano with singer and actress Lena Horne in a Chicago nightclub, 1949. The book Stormy Weather: The Life of Lena Horne, details their love affair. Both were married to other people, and Louis had become a father in February 1943. But the boxing world heavyweight champion kept visiting the Stormy Weather set to see Lena, whom he’d reportedly met at the New York City nightclub Café Society a few years prior. Joe spoke openly of their on-again, off-again affair to his friend Alice Key; Lena flaunted a mink coat he’d given to her. On November 12, 1942, Billy Rowe had reported the widespread rumor that Louis, then an army sergeant would divorce his wife to marry Lena. Both Joe and Lena issued vague denials. “I think that Lena is a grand person, on and off the screen, but that doesn’t mean I want to marry her or vice versa,” said the boxer. Added Lena, Sergeant Louis and I have been friends for several years and to me, like fifty million others, he’s a symbol of greatness. I can certainly admire him and be in his company without hopping off to the alter.”

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