A Farewell to Heroes

Overview

Originally published in 1981 and long out of print, this dual autobiography covers five unforgettable decades of the New York sporting life from 1915 to 1965. Told initially from the point of view of Frank Graham, premier sportswriter for The New York Sun, A Farewell to Heroes also includes the chronicles of Frank, Jr., who picks up the narrative as he becomes a sports journalist in his own right.  

Frank Graham, Sr., was a self-taught writer known for his uncanny ability ...

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Overview

Originally published in 1981 and long out of print, this dual autobiography covers five unforgettable decades of the New York sporting life from 1915 to 1965. Told initially from the point of view of Frank Graham, premier sportswriter for The New York Sun, A Farewell to Heroes also includes the chronicles of Frank, Jr., who picks up the narrative as he becomes a sports journalist in his own right.  

Frank Graham, Sr., was a self-taught writer known for his uncanny ability to capture the high drama of a game-winning play or the color of a fight mob’s conversation in spare, straightforward prose. As a reporter, he covered the rough-and-tumble Giants of John McGraw’s day and continued through boxing’s greatest era, spanning the reigns of Jack Dempsey and Joe Louis.

As the younger Frank tells more of the story, we watch Lou Gehrig take Babe Ruth’s place as the Yankees’ star and then trace his glorious career to its tragic conclusion. We see firsthand the legendary Branch Rickey and Jackie Robinson and boxing’s brief but golden age on television in the 1950s.

Aided by sixteen photographs and preserving the most masterful of his father’s writing while adding to it the best of his own, Frank Graham, Jr., has given the sports fan A Farewell to Heroes, perhaps the ultimate sports reminiscence of a time when the romance of sport gave life a golden hue, when heroes still roamed the earth.

“In what he calls this ‘kind of dual autobiography,’ he is his father’s son, having learned to look and listen as his father did and still go his own way,” says W. C. Heinz, longtime sportswriter for The New York Sun, in his new foreword to this paperback edition.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“Here’s a title to be filed under that rarest of genre classifications—the dual autobiography, first published more than 20 years ago and out of print until this spring. Frank Graham Sr. was a fabled newspaper reporter in the Golden Age of Sports in the 1920s and ’30s. His son followed a similar career path, writing about athletes of the post-World War II era. This is not an anthology of previously published articles or magazines, however. Its content is much more intimate—a memoir of times and places long gone, as seen through the eyes and ears of a father and son, each toiling in the same job, but with wholly different perspectives on sport. In the end, the reader learns just as much about the ups and downs of the writers’ professional lives as he does the heroes and events portrayed in the Grahams’ sports columns.”USA Today Sports Weekly

A Farewell to Heroes is an attempt to re-create an atmosphere, to set down not a history of sports during that half century or so but a kind of dual autobiography, a very selective overview, gold-tinted perhaps but as honest as my father and I could make it, of an era that now comes dimmering up out of the mists.”

—Frank Graham Jr., from the Preface

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780809324910
  • Publisher: Southern Illinois University Press
  • Publication date: 3/28/2003
  • Series: Writing Baseball Series
  • Edition description: 1st Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 344
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.25 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

As a sportswriter, Frank Graham, Jr., has published four books and numerous articles for Sports Illustrated, Sport, The New Republic, Saturday Evening Post, and The New York Times Magazine. Turning later to an interest in natural history and conservation, he wrote eight more books, including Since Silent Spring, The Adirondacks, and Where the Place Called Morning Lies. He is currently a field editor for Audubon and, along with his wife, Ada, has written more than two dozen books for children.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations ix
Foreword xi
Preface xix
Chapter 1 Out of Harlem 1
Chapter 2 The Endless Adventure 14
Chapter 3 I Am Born 28
Chapter 4 Star Reporter 40
Chapter 5 The Greatest Story 52
Chapter 6 In the Dugout 71
Chapter 7 The Blood Sport (I) 84
Chapter 8 The Blood Sport (II) 93
Chapter 9 A Vanished World 103
Chapter 10 Security Blanket 118
Chapter 11 Father and Son 133
Chapter 12 The Hero 143
Chapter 13 Fight Night at the Garden 153
Chapter 14 The Champ's Pal 170
Chapter 15 The Hero Recaptured 179
Chapter 16 From the Mailbag 194
Chapter 17 The Road to Brooklyn 204
Chapter 18 Prospects and Snake Oil 213
Chapter 19 The Creeping Terror 226
Chapter 20 Transition 241
Chapter 21 Shoptalk 252
Chapter 22 Madder Music, Stronger Wine 263
Chapter 23 Libel 279
Chapter 24 Quixote Tumbled 289
Epilogue 299
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