Donald Trump considers pardoning Jack Johnson after Sylvester Stallone request

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In 2015 an education bill requested a pardon, and in 2016 multiple members of Congress requested that then-President Barack Obama pardon Johnson.

"Sylvester Stallone called me with the story of heavyweight boxing champion Jack Johnson", Trump tweeted from Florida, where he watched the Houston funeral of former first lady Barbara Bush on television, his wife Melania attending in his stead.

Trump tweeted Saturday that Johnson's "trials and tribulations were great, his life complex and controversial". He was convicted in 1913 via a purported violation of the Mann Act after he crossed state lines with his white girlfriend.

"But this was white-on-black race riots in every corner of the United States, where groups of whites unhappy that Jeffries had lost went into black neighborhoods to kill African-Americans simply because of the color of their skin, simply because Jack Johnson was unforgivably black", documentary filmmaker Ken Burns told CNN's Carol Costello in 2005. John McCain, R-Ariz., and former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., have been pushing Johnson's case for years. (KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP/Getty Images) Jack Johnson, right, of the US, world heavyweight title holder since 1908, in action against Jess Willard of the US at Havana, Cuba in 1915. He passed away at the age of 68 in 1946, four days before Trump was even born.

After seven years as a fugitive following his conviction, Johnson eventually returned to the US and turned himself in.

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Trump's previous pardons include Scooter Libby, former chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney, and former Maricopa County, Arizona, Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Coined the "Fight of the Century", Jeffries lost to Johnson on July 4, 1910, in Reno, Nevada, after 15 rounds.

Trump isn't the first president to be asked to give Johnson a posthumous pardon.

If he's pardoned by the president, it'll be the first time it's ever been done to someone who's already dead.

Obama did not pardon Johnson, leaving the boxer's descendants "deeply disappointed."

The Justice Department makes decisions on potential pardons through an application process and typically makes recommendations to the president.

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