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Vanity Fair slide show - The Big Guns

During the depths of the Depression, Vanity Fair showed an uncharacteristic giddiness for the brawniest celebrities of the day: heavyweight boxers. Squeezed in with Jean Cocteau, Cole Porter, and Greta Garbo were the likes of "Sailor" Jack Sharkey, "Old Snaggle Tooth" Primo Carnera, and "The Livermore Larruper" Max Baer, as well as the occasional lightweight contender and even wrestling stars, photographed by the pre-eminent portraitists of the day, such as Edward Steichen and Lusha Nelson. Below, a survey of Vanity Fair’s early flirtation with the less cerebral side of life, with excerpts from the original text that accompanied the photos, by Paul Gallico.

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