NEW PALTZ, N.Y., May 11 (UPI) -- Former heavyweight boxing champion Floyd Patterson, who retired in 1972 with a professional record of 55-8-1, has died at his home in New Paltz, N.Y., at 71.
Patterson's nephew, Sherman Patterson, said his uncle had been hospitalized earlier this week and died Thursday, the St. Paul (Minn.) Pioneer Press reported. Patterson suffered from Alzheimer's disease and prostate cancer.
Born in Waco, N.C., Patterson turned pro after winning a gold medal as a middleweight in the 1952 Olympics in Helsinki, Finland. In 1956, he knocked out boxing legend Archie Moore at age 21 to become the world's youngest world heavyweight champion. He lost the title in 1961 and regained it becoming the first heavyweight champ to reclaim the belt.
Quiet and mild-mannered outside the ring, Patterson had 40 career knockouts.
He became New York state athletic commissioner after his retirement at age 37.
"He was very quiet and low key and you would have never known he had been a boxer by his demeanor," Sherman Patterson, an aide to Minneapolis Mayor R. T. Rybak, told the newspaper.
Patterson is survived by a second wife and four adult children.