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05 October 2010

Jimmy De Forest (185? – 1932) trapeze artist, fight trainer

At the age of five Jimmy was an arieliste with the De Forest Aerial Troup as Mlle Petite De Forest, in line with the circus tradition that more customers would pay to see a girl trapeze artist.

De Forest & Dempsey, June 1919
At the age of 12 he quit and drifted into the Bowery fight clubs. He went to Europe to learn training and massage in military camps. On return to the US he earned a reputation as a trainer and manager. He managed Jack Dempsey and other major boxers.

He retired in 1926. He died in Long Branch, New Jersey after a long illness and in poverty.
  • “Jimmy DeForest dies in poverty”. Oct 12, 1932. Oswego Palladium Times. pdf .
  • L.H.Hamsley. “Imposters in Petticoats”. In David O. Cauldwell (ed). Transvestism … men in female dress. New York: Sexology Corporation. 1956: 66.

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