Murray State University
200 Pogue Library
Murray, Kentucky 42071
Collection Title: Joe Fulks Collection
Series Number: MS10-90
Processed and Cataloged by: Processed by Dieter C. Ullrich on August 31, 2010
Date Listed: August 31, 2010
Date Span: 1942-1972
Size of Collection: 4.0 linear feet.
Number of Boxes: 1 legal size document cases, 1 legal half sized document case and 2 oversized boxes.
Type of Material: Newspaper clippings, correspondence, scrapbook, photographs, memorabilia, and ephemera.
Condition of Material: Fair with tears, folds and acidification damage to newspaper clippings.
Arrangement: Organized alphabetically by format of material; Chronological arrangement.
Biographical / Historical Information: Joseph Franklin Fulks was a professional basketball player from 1946 to 1954. He was born in Birmingham, Kentucky on October 26, 1921. His family was relocated to Kuttawa when the Tennessee River was dammed in 1932. He attended local public schools and graduated from Kuttawa High School. During his senior year in high school he broke every state scoring record and led the school’s basketball team to the state championship. Fulks briefly enrolled at Millsaps College but transferred to Murray State Teachers College in 1941. He played at Murray State for two seasons starting 47 games and scoring 621 points. In 1943 he was selected as a Kentucky Inter-Collegiate Athletic All-Star and named to the National Association of Inter-Collegiate Athletes All-American team. During the Second World War, he served in the United States Marine Corps and saw action in Iwo Jima and Guam. Following the war, Fulks joined the Philadelphia Warriors of the newly formed Basketball Association of America. In his first year as a professional basketball player, he led the league in scoring and set records for average points-per-game, field goals, foul goals and total points in a single game. His most impressive performance was on February 10, 1949 when he scored 63 points, a record that was not surpassed for over a decade. He retired in 1954 at age 32 amassing 8,003 points in 499 regular season games. In 1970 he was named to the National Basketball Association’s Silver Anniversary Team and in 1978 was named to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. After retirement, Fulks worked as a production foreman for GAF Corporation in Calvert City and later as a recreation officer for the Kentucky State Penitentiary in Eddyville, Kentucky. He died on March 21, 1976 after receiving a mortal gunshot wound following an altercation over a handgun.
Scope and Content: Collection consists of newspaper clippings, magazines and sporting event programs related to the professional basketball career of Joe Folks from 1946 to 1954. Along with published information on his professional career, there are photographs, certificates, awards, plaques and other memorabilia focusing on his accomplishments on the hardwood courts. Included in the collection is a scrapbook of the Kuttawa Lyons basketball team of 1939-1940, a basketball uniform he wore during the Kentucky Inter-Collegiate Athletic All-Star game, college notebooks and a VHS video tape on the life of Joe Folks by Philadelphia sportscaster Jim Barniak in 1991.
Subject Headings / Descriptors:
Fulks, Joseph Franklin (1921-1976)
Philadelphia Warriors (Basketball team)
Basketball – Pennsylvania – Philadelphia – History.
Basketball – Kentucky – Kuttawa – History.
Murray State University – Basketball – History.