With thanks to researcher and author William "Bill" Lellis, this week we are sharing the story of San Quentin Fire Chief Norman Selby. Also known as Charles "Kid" McCoy, he was a World Champion Boxer who first fought competitively in 1891. Weighing in at barely 160 pounds as a young boxer, he won the middle heavyweight and then the heavyweight crown. From Champion to murderer to inmate to Fire Chief, the Kid lived a fascinating life.
According to a brief biography written by famous sports columnist Ring Lardner from back then, "Kid McCoy lived by violence, by trickery, and by women. He fought 200 fights, and was beaten in only six of them. He married eight women—one of them three times—and shot another to death. For the murder, he paid a light price, lightly. There was vanity in him, and guile, and wit, and cruelty, and some larceny, and a great capacity for enjoying himself. Above all, there was self-satisfaction..."
Read the story in our Special Recognition and Award Recipients under the More Menu, or click below.
Our Blog announces new site content, and gives the context of the topic and it's relationship to fire service history. Written by Bill Lellis & Paul Smith