Jump to Content

Collection Guide
Collection Title:
Collection Number:
Get Items:
Guide to the Max Baer recordings
View entire collection guide What's This?
Search this collection
Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Access
  • Conditions Governing Use
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Processing Information
  • Biography / Administrative History
  • Arrangement
  • Scope and Content of Collection

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Max Baer recordings
    Dates: 1934-1958
    Bulk Dates: 1951/1956
    Identifier/Call Number: MS0008
    Creator: Baer, Max
    Physical Description: 5.33 linear feet (4 boxes: 1 carton, 1 manuscript box, 1 newspaper box, and 1 oversized box)
    Repository: Center for Sacramento History
    Sacramento, California 95811-0229
    Abstract: The Max Bear recordings document Baer's recorded life, including his boxing career, interviews, guest appearances, radio programs, and family.
    Physical location: 01:K:02
    Languages: Languages represented in the collection: English


    The collection is open for research use.

    Conditions Governing Use

    All requests to publish or quote from collections held by the Center for Sacramento History (CSH) must be submitted in writing to csh@cityofsacramento.org. Permission for publication is given on behalf of CSH as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the patron. No permission is necessary to publish or quote from public records.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], MS0008, Max Bear recordings, Center for Sacramento History.

    Acquisition Information

    Items in the collection were purchased by Cindy Armstrong and Maxine Carlin from the estate of Ancil Hoffman. The Center for Sacramento History received the collection from Armstrong and Carlin in December 2000 (accession number 2000/189).

    Processing Information

    The collection consists primarily of transcription discs. Only the contents of recordings with digital surrogates (online items) have detailed abstracts. Information for the remaining recordings consist only of physical information and label information.

    Biography / Administrative History

    Boxer and entertainer Max Baer was born Maximilian Adelbert Baer on February 11, 1908, in Omaha, Nebraska. The Baer family moved to Northern California in 1922, settling in Livermore in 1926, with Baer eventually moving to Sacramento, where he lived for nearly 30 years until his death in 1959.
    In 1929, Baer began boxing professionally, and went on to become the world heavyweight champion in 1934. Known as the "Livermore Larruper," Baer fought for more than 10 years, appearing in the first televised heavyweight boxing match in 1939, and retiring in 1941 with a record of 72 wins (53 due to knockouts), 12 losses, and no draws. He was inducted into the Boxing Hall of Fame in 1968 , the World Boxing Hall of Fame in 1984, the International boxing Hall of Fame in 1995, and the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame in 2010.
    During his boxing career, Baer also entered the entertainment industry as an actor and radio personality. He debuted on the big screen with Myrna Loy and Walter Huston in Prizefighter and the Lady (1933) and was featured in 14 films, including Africa Screams (1949) with Abbott and Costello, and Humphrey Bogart's last movie, The Harder They Fall (1956). He also appeared on a variety of radio programs and, from 1951 to 1953, had his own radio show, The Max Baer Show, which ran weekday afternoons on McClatchy Broadcasting's KFBK 1530 AM, Sacramento's ABC radio affiliate.
    Baer was married twice, first to actress Dorothy Dunbar (1931-1933), then to Mary Ellen Sullivan (1956-1959). Baer and Sullivan had three children: actor Max Baer Jr., James Manny Baer, and Maudie Marian Baer. Baer died on November 21, 1959, in Los Angeles, where he was filming a commercial. His funeral was one of the largest ever attended in Sacramento and he is interred at Sacramento’s Saint Mary's Catholic Cemetery and Mausoleum.


    The collection is arranged into 5 series:
    • Series 1. Boxing, 1934-1952
    • Series 2. Radio performances and interviews, 1939-1958
    • Series 3. Personal radio career, 1941-1956
    • Series 4. Family recordings, 1940-1941
    • Series 5. Uncategorized recordings, undated

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The collection contains Max Baer's personal and professional radio recordings. Because there was no discernible order to the material, a series hierarchy was created.
    Series 1. Boxing, 1934-1952. This series is made up of recordings that document Baer's boxing career.
    Series 2. Radio performances and interviews, 1939-1958.This series contains recordings of Baer being interviewed or otherwise appearing on various radio programs.
    Series 3. Personal Radio Career, 1941-1956. This series comprises recordings of Baer's radio programs.
    Series 4. Family Recordings, 1940-1941.This series consists of recordings of Baer's family, and recordings given to his family.
    Series 5. Uncategorized recordings, undated.This series includes items that cannot be clearly identified by disc labels. These recordings have not been digitized.