January 10, 2018

“He can run, but he can’t hide.”

Joe Louis vs Billy Conn poster-8x6 (1)

“He can run, but he can’t hide.”             
       Joe Louis (1914-1981)             
       American heavyweight boxing champion, nicknamed “The Brown Bomber”  
       This was Joe’s famous comment about boxer Billy Conn, shortly before their heavyweight title rematch at Yankee Stadium in New York City on June 19, 1946.             
       Louis was known for his devastating punches and had defeated Conn in a previous fight in 1941. But Conn, “The Pittsburg Kid,” was lighter and faster, creating speculation that he could win their rematch.             
       On June 8, 1946, during one of the daily interviews he had with reporters in the days leading up to the fight, a reporter asked Louis: “If he [Conn] runs, will you chase him?”             
       Joe gave the memorable response: “He can run, but he can’t hide.” It appeared in news stories the next day in papers throughout the country. 
       Louis ended up winning the fight by a knockout in the eighth round. The next day, a headline in the New York Times said: “Louis Proves His Own Prediction: Conn Could Run, but Couldn’t Hide.”             
       Joe’s quip became and remains a commonly-used taunt in the U.S. and other English-speaking countries and he is generally assumed to have coined it. However, quotation expert Ralph Keyes speculated in his book The Quote Verifier that Louis may have been repeating a line that was already circulating as “street talk.” And, language maven Barry Popik discovered that Louis had made a similar remark in 1939. Speaking to a reporter about an upcoming fight with Bob Pastor in Detroit, Louis said: “It’s all right to have good legs but remember one thing—when you’re in the ring you can run, but you can’t hide.”             
     What does seem clear is that Louis deserves credit for popularizing the saying “He can run, but he can’t hide” and he uttered the most famous use of those words before his 1946 fight with Billy Conn.

Grateful Dead Built to Last

“We can run but we can’t hide from it
Of all possible worlds we only got one, we gotta ride on it
Whatever we’ve done we’ll never get far from what we leave behind
Baby we can run, run, run but we can’t hide.”

       Lyrics by Grateful Dead band member John Barlow for the Dead song “We Can Run”
       Music by band member Brent Mydland
      “We Can Run” is included on the Grateful Dead’s 1989 album Built To Last and several later Dead compilations.

One Foot in the Grave book

“You can run from the grave, but you can’t hide.”
       Headline on the back cover of Jeaniene Frost’s vampire novel One Foot in the Grave (2008)

Amy Harmon, The Song of David

“You can run, hide, or die. But wherever you go, there you’ll be.”
       Amy Harmon
       American novelist
       In her novel The Song of David (2015)

Songs of the Humpback Whale

“You can run but you can't hide...but I can try. I feel air catch in my lungs and I get a cramp in my side and this pain, this wonderful physical pain that I can place, reminds me that after all I am still alive.”
       Jodi Picoult
       American novelist
       In her book Songs of the Humpback Whale: A Novel in Five Voices (2001)

Reagan Run But Can't Hide quote

“I am proud to be the commander-in-chief of the soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines who deployed, supported and played the crucial role in the delivery of these terrorists to Italian authorities...These young Americans sent a message to terrorists everywhere. A message ‘you can run but you can’t hide.’”
       Ronald Reagan (1911-2004)             
       40th President of the United States
       Remarks to the press on October 11, 1985 after American troops captured the terrorists who hijacked the Achille Lauro cruise ship and brutally murdered passenger Leon Klinghoffer.

One-legged man can't run but can hide-8x6

“He can’t run, but he can hide.”
       Ben Muessig
       American journalist
       This is Muessig’s punny opening line in an article he wrote for the Huffington Post in 2010
about a one-legged man who successfully evaded the police in Orange County, Florida on foot (literally one foot in this case) after driving recklessly through a residential community and smashing his car into a power pole.

Chicken Soup for the Fisherman's Soul

“I want to teach Gigi my young granddaughter, how to fish...Out on the boat she is captive. She can squirm, but she can’t hide. I will tell her I love her. And when she asks, ‘Are you crying?’ I’ll say, ‘Yes, but these are tears of joy. Older guys do that, Gigi.’ You can do that kind of thing when you go mackerel fishing.”
George H.W. Bush             
       41st President of the United States  
       An excerpt from a letter Bush wrote in September 1998, included in the book Chicken Soup for the Fisherman’s Soul
(2000), edited by Mark Victor Hansen, Ken McKowen and Dahlynn McKowen

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