Caesar Campana Sr. was born in Italy on May 13, 1903, to parents Peter and Theresa Campana. He began his boxing career at a young age and went on to compete professionally in and around Camden, using the ring name “Young O’Connor.” One of his opponents was Frank Guetherman, a fellow Camden boxer known by his ring name, “Tip Gorman.”
In the 1930 Census records, Caesar was listed as living with his parents at 600 Point Street in North Camden. At that time, he was married to his wife, Judith, who had given birth to three children: Lorraine, Caesar Jr., and Norma.
With the end of Prohibition, Caesar Campana secured a liquor license and began operating a cafe at 600 Point Street, a business he continued at least until 1943. By 1947, he had sold this property and was running a bar located at 900 North 2nd Street, at the corner of North 2nd Street and York Street. He remained in business at this location until at least 1949.
In 1956, the New Jersey Bell Telephone Directory indicated that Caesar Campana Sr. had moved to 824 Locust Street, residing next door to a cafe known as the A Bar. He continued his business at this location until at least 1966. During the mid-1960s, the A Bar was also recognized as “Campana’s Bar.”
By 1967, the A Bar had changed ownership and operated under the name “Dick’s A Bar” until its closure in the early 1990s.
Caesar Campana had a close friendship with Tommy Skymer, a highly regarded amateur boxer in Camden during the late 1920s. Tommy Skymer went on to own a beauty salon, the Merchantville Farmer’s Market, and became a partner with his wife, Josephine, in a successful lighting business located in Pennsauken, NJ, known as Jo Skymer Lamps.
In his later years, Caesar Campana Sr. relocated to Woodbury, NJ, where he ultimately passed away in September 1992.
Camden Courier-Post – August 11, 1930 Young O’Connor Wants to Stage Comeback in Police and Firemen Show “In this corner, Young O’Connor, of Camden. He weighs 145 pounds!” It has been many a day since South Jersey fistic followers heard that announcement within the ring. But it won’t be long now before it will be…