Maximilian Adelbert "Max" Baer (February 11, 1909 – November 21, 1959) was an American boxer of the 1930s (one-time Heavyweight Champion of the World) as well as a referee, and had an occasional role on film or television. He was the brother of heavyweight boxing contender Buddy Baer and father of actor Max Baer Jr. (best known as Jethro Bodine on The Beverly Hillbillies). Baer is rated #22 on Ring Magazine's list of 100 greatest punchers of all time.
He is also known as Maximillian Adalbert Baer.
On Wednesday, November 18, 1959, Baer refereed a nationally televised 10-round boxing match in Phoenix. At the end of the match, to the applause of the crowd Baer grasped the ropes and vaulted out of the ring and joined fight fans in a cocktail bar. The next day, he was scheduled to appear in several television commercials in Hollywood, California. On his way, he stopped in Garden Grove, California, to keep a promise he had made thirteen years earlier to the then five-year-old son of his ex-sparring partner, Curly Owens. Baer presented the now 18-year-old with a foreign sports car on his birthday, as he had said he would.
Baer checked into the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel upon his arrival on November 19. Hotel employees said he looked fit but complained of a cold. As he was shaving, the morning of November 21, he experienced chest pains. He called the front desk and asked for a doctor. The desk clerk said "a house doctor would be right up." "A house doctor?" he replied jokingly, "No, dummy, I need a people doctor".
A doctor gave Baer medicine, and a fire department rescue squad administered oxygen. His chest pains subsided and he was showing signs of recovery when he was stricken with a second attack. Just a moment before, he was joking with the doctor, declaring he had come through two similar but lighter attacks earlier in Sacramento, California. Then he slumped on his left side, turned blue and died within a matter of minutes. His last words reportedly were, "Oh God, here I go."