James E. Pepper has a proud history, marked by sponsorships of two of America's most iconic athletes.

Isaac Burns Murphy

Isaac Burns Murphy (1861–1896), was an American Hall of Fame jockey, considered one of the greatest riders in American Thoroughbred horse racing history. Murphy won three runnings of the Kentucky Derby and was the first jockey to be inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame at its creation in 1955. Murphy rode for James E. Pepper in both the Kentucky Derby and the Kentucky Oaks, and the two men fostered a friendship as fellow Lexingtonians. When Murphy passed away in 1896, Colonel Pepper paid his respects alongside friends and family at the private funeral service held in his late home.

Jack Johnson

Jack Johnson (1878 – 1946), was an American boxer who, at the height of the Jim Crow era, became the first black world heavyweight boxing champion. His 1910 fight against James J. Jeffries was dubbed the 'Fight of the Century'. James E. Pepper Whisky proudly sponsored both the 'Fight of the Century' and Jack Johnson individually. Widely regarded as one of the most influential boxers in history, Johnson's remarkable life story was documented in Ken Burns' Emmy award-winning PBS documentary, Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson. Learn more at https://www.pbs.org/kenburns/unforgivable-blackness/.