Inducted into Jewish Sports Hall of Fame, 1985

Born in New York City, Liebert moved to Hartford at a young age. He attended the Arsenal School and Hartford Public High School, graduating in 1931. As a teenager he worked in his father’s kosher meat market, learning the trade. He attended the University of Connecticut, followed by Boston University School of Law where he obtained his Juris Doctorate in 1938. Following law school, Manny served in the United States Air Force where he was a Master Sergeant receiving a commendation from General Arnold for exceptional administrative ability in establishing a meat conservation plan during World War II.

Manny’s passion was the sport of boxing and promoting professional wrestling. He was a manager, promoter, trainer and “second in the corner” for more than 50 years. His life in boxing enabled him to consider Willie Pep, Jack Dempsey, Gene Tunney, Rocky Marciano, and many others his friends. Leibert helped found the Connecticut Boxing Guild in 1948 and promoted professional wrestling events during the 1950s and 60s throughout Connecticut. He was key in bringing boxing back to Connecticut in 1973 after it had been banned in the state for eight years.

When not promoting boxing or wrestling, Manny ran a successful salvage, pipe and steel business in Hartford known as the Leibert Corporation. In 1991 the city of Hartford renamed East Service Road in the North Meadows Leibert Road in his honor.

His many awards include Connecticut Boxing Guild Man of the Year, Probus Club Humanitarian Award, Lions Club International, and Volunteer of the Year for the State of Connecticut Department of Mental Retardation. In 2006 Manny was inducted into the Connecticut Boxing Hall of Fame and at the 2010 ceremony at Mohegan Sun was honored with a song in Algonquian to Manny as a Warrior.

“People say when David fought Goliath they saw me in the second row,” Leibert said. “That wasn’t me.”

Well, all my life I was a strong man. Second of all, I’m also a very proud man. You don’t mess with Manny now, I can tell you that. They all know that. So, I lived with all these people. And if you were a Jew, being a Jew to all those who were anti-Semitic, you were a coward and you were afraid. […] And I always felt that “Let them take me on if they want to see how tough a Jew is” or “whether a Jew can fight.”

Oral history interview