Lena Horne was visiting boxer Joe Louis while he trained. The book Stormy Weather: The Life of Lena Horne, details their romance. Both were married to other people, and Louis had even become a father in February 1943. But the world champion of heavyweight boxing kept visiting the Stormy Weather set to see Horne, whom he’d reportedly met at the New York City nightclub Café Society.
Joe spoke openly of their on-again, off-again affair to his friend Alice Key; Horne 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 Horne. Both he and Horne 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 Horne, 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.”
These pictures were taken by Carl Van Vechten that show moments of Joe Louis and Lena Horne at Greenwood Lake on September 15, 1941.