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Danish ‘Bonecrusher’ out for his final count
Last week, Otto Jensen, a former boxer and well-known photographer who had lived in the US for the past 76 years, was struck and killed by a car driven by a 91-year-old woman. The accident shook the southern Californian city of Burbank, where Jensen was a well-known and beloved figure.
Jensen was born 6 March 1911 in Aarhus. He stayed behind when his parents went to New York to make money so they could eventually bring over their family. In the 1930s, he boxed professionally in both Poland and Denmark, where he was known as the ‘Bonecrusher’. In 1936, he left for New York, just a few years before the Nazi invasion in Europe.
Upon arrival in the US, he was assigned to a boarding house, where he was shown to his room by a young woman. "He turned around and told her, `Now I want to know where your room is.' Two weeks later, they were married,” his friend Harry Fisher told The Huffington Post. “That was his wife, that he was married to for 67 years."
In 1940, Jensen moved to Burbank, not far from major Hollywood studios, where he set up a storefront photo studio. During his long photography career, he shot everything from boxing to Hollywood celebrities.
Jensen was a well-known figure in his hometown, where he served as grand marshal of the city's centennial parade last year. He remained interested in boxing and was an avid fan of world champion fighter Manny Pacquiao from the Philippines.
When asked what it feels like to be 100 in an interview last year with sports website ESNEWS, Jensen said: "The same as 99." He claimed he smoked two cigars a day and had an 87-year-old girlfriend. The secret to life, he said, was "to live and love”. Although, Jensen added: "But you need a few women to do that.
Police said Jensen was crossing the street legally, even though there wasn't a crosswalk. The 91-year-old driver faced no criminal charges from the accident. Jensen is survived by a granddaughter, and a cousin in Denmark whom he was considering visiting this summer.