Chuck Taylor, All Star: The True Story of the Man Behind the Most Famous Athletic Shoe in History

Overview

His is the name on the label of the legendary Converse All-Star basketball shoe. Though the shoe has been worn by hundreds of millions, few, if any, know a thing about the man behind the name. Some even believe that there is no such person, that he is a marketer’s fabrication like Betty Crocker. But "Chuck Taylor" was more than a rubber-soled, double-wall canvas-body shoe with a circular ankle patch, with a bright blue star in the middle and a signature across it. He may not have been a Michael Jordan, but Chuck ...

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Overview

His is the name on the label of the legendary Converse All-Star basketball shoe. Though the shoe has been worn by hundreds of millions, few, if any, know a thing about the man behind the name. Some even believe that there is no such person, that he is a marketer’s fabrication like Betty Crocker. But "Chuck Taylor" was more than a rubber-soled, double-wall canvas-body shoe with a circular ankle patch, with a bright blue star in the middle and a signature across it. He may not have been a Michael Jordan, but Chuck Taylor did earn the right to be the face behind the most popular shoe in basketball.

For this first-ever biography, Abraham Aamidor went on a three-year quest to learn the true story of Chuck Taylor. The search took him across the country, tracking down leads, and separating truth from legend—discovering that the truth, warts and all, was much more interesting than the myth. He found Chuck involved with "industrial league" basketball in the 1920s, working as a wartime coach with the Army Air Force, and organizing clinic after clinic. He was a true "ambassador of basketball" in Europe and South America as well as all over the United States. And he was, to be sure, a consummate marketing genius. He was elected to the Sporting Goods Hall of Fame before his induction into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. This biography makes it clear that he belongs in both.

Indiana University Press

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780253346988
  • Publisher: Indiana University Press
  • Publication date: 3/28/2006
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 200
  • Product dimensions: 6.12 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 0.76 (d)

Meet the Author

Abraham Aamidor, a staff writer for The Indianapolis Star, has reported for the Champaign-Urbana News-Gazette and the St. Louis Globe-Democrat. He is author of Real Feature Writing and Real Sports Reporting (IUP, 2003) and resides in Carmel, Indiana.

Indiana University Press

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Table of Contents

Contents
Acknowledgments
Introduction
1. Hall of Fame
2. Non-Skids
3. Salesman
4. The Invisible Pass
5. Special Service
6. Air-Tecs
7. World Tourney
8. "Me"
9. Glory
Appendix: The History of the Converse Rubber Shoe Company
Notes on Research
Notes
Index

Indiana University Press

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 8, 2006

    Good sports biography, good business history

    Honestly written book answers most of the questions about the most famous name in sports no one knows anything about. Chuck Taylor may have been the first brand name for a mass-marketed product, and this book tells how he did it, including making payments to the National Association of Basketball Coaches and inventing a persona for himself as a great basketball player from the pre-Modern Era of the game. Revelations about Chuck's coaching days with the Converse All-Stars traveling basketball squad in the 1920s and especially with the forgotten but brillian Wright Field Air-Tecs during World War II will be much appreciated by serious sports history buffs. Also loved the Foreword by Dean Smith. The historic photos, many apparently never before published, also help. Ultimately, Chuck Taylor was a Hall of Fame showman, even if he doesn't really belong in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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