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Dandling a few of his 18 grandchildren on his knee is a gentle pursuit for this sheriff of Ramsey County, Minnesota. But there was a time when strong men stood in awe of him. He is the famous Tommy Gibbons who stayed 15 rounds with Jack Dempsey in a fight for the heavyweight championship of the world on July 4, 1923 in Shelby, Montana. Of him Dempsey later wrote: "I found in Gibbons one of the best defensive fighters I had met." Still a fighter at 66, Gibbons in his 20-odd years in office has cleaned gangsterism out of his bailiwick and has contributed generously of time and money to the youngsters of St. Paul. He is a director of the St. Paul Winter Carnival, a leader in the local Boy Scouts, a past deputy of the Knights of Columbus and a man of stern ethics. As evidence of his probity a story is told about some former boxing cronies who, profitably engaged in the liquor-selling business, came to Gibbons with much extravagant praise when he was first named local sheriff. Tommy replied: "Thanks a lot, boys, and you'll close at 12 midnight just like everybody else does."