Everlast and the first family of boxing
In 1914, encouraged by his immigrant father, a tailor and shop owner on the Lower East Side of New York City, 22-year-old Jacob J. Golomb, known as, Jack, along with his brothers, began a sporting goods company. The name Jack came up with for his high quality products and service, said it all—EVERLAST. Despite its humble beginnings, the Everlast Sporting Goods Company, a small retail sporting goods store, carried both typical and more unusual sports equipment. This included baseball and football equipment as well as gear for skiing, fencing, gymnastics and cricket, but it was boxing in which the company would become internationally renown.
Boxing was, as it still is today, a loose alliance of diverse associations, ownerships, managers, promoters and boxers. The genius of Jack and his brothers was to see an opportunity to make the most of this alliance. Jack was an innovator, a promoter, and a publisher. In fact, Jack was among a unique group of entrepreneurs who pioneered the American sporting goods industry in the first half of the 20th century. It was their company, Everlast, which added legitimacy to a notoriously brutal and infamous sport. It was Everlast that made the sport more palatable to the general public, and it was the three generations of the Golomb Family’s equipment that took the hard, brutal edge off—instituting a measure of safety, that in turn elevated the stature and status of the “sweet science.” Most of the innovations in boxing equipment came from Everlast, including safer boxing gloves, mouth guards, head gear, ring padding and groin protection.
There are many stories about Jack Dempsey and his years before he became champion, when he was just another hardscrabble kid from the Midwest trying to cut his teeth as a boxer in the Big Apple. Dempsey came to Jack Golomb when he was down and out and broke and he helped him. Jack Golomb helped a lot of fighters—that was his way. Later, as Heavyweight Champion of the World, Dempsey was eternally grateful and endorsed the Everlast product, something he would continue to do throughout his lifetime. During the early years of Everlast, both Dempsey and the great champion, Benny Leonard, along with countless other boxers, assisted in an advisory capacity for Everlast’s boxing equipment. It was this partnership of the boxers who shared their knowledge along with the Golomb know-how and ingenuity, that helped make Everlast, “the greatest of all time.”
Jack’s older son, Dan Golomb (John’s father), served as CEO of the company for 50 years after the passing of his father. During his tenure, Dan took the great name and made it into an icon by nationalizing and internationalizing it.