Billy Cannon: A Long, Long Run

Billy Cannon: A Long, Long Run

by Charles N. deGravelles


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Billy Cannon's name, his image, and his remarkable athletic career serve as emblems for Louisiana State University, the Southeastern Conference, and college football. LSU's only Heisman Trophy winner, Cannon led the Tigers to a national championship in 1958, igniting a love of the game in Louisiana and establishing a tradition of greatness at LSU.
But like many stories of lionized athletes who rise to the status of legend, there was a fall — and in the case of Billy Cannon, also redemption. For the first time, Charles N. deGravelles reveals in full the thrilling highs and unexpected lows of Cannon's life, in Billy Cannon: A Long, Long Run.
Through conversations with Cannon, deGravelles follows the athlete-turned-reformer from his boyhood in a working-class Baton Rouge neighborhood to his sudden rush of fame as the leading high school running back in the country. Personal and previously unpublished stories about Cannon's glory days at LSU and his stellar but controversial career in the pros, as well as details of his indictment for counterfeiting and his post-release work as staff dentist at Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola, unfold in a riveting biography characterized by uncanny success, deep internal struggles, and a champion's spirit that pushed through it all.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780807162200
Publisher: Louisiana State University Press
Publication date: 09/07/2015
Pages: 280
Sales rank: 731,947
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Charles N. deGravelles spent over twenty-five years ministering to the inmates of Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola, including the men on death row. A deacon and teacher living in Baton Rouge, deGravelles has published in literary journals and anthologies nationwide.

What People are Saying About This

Bud Johnson

"What made Cannon run? Charles deGravelles tells all. The father's grim search for work during the Great Depression. The industrial accident that cost the father, Harvey Cannon, Sr., a leg, his job and insured a life of poverty. deGravelles captures Billy Cannon's highs and lows, the accomplishments that made him Louisiana's most celebrated sports figure; Cannon's arrest and conviction for counterfeiting; and his return to respectability as director of the Dental Clinic at Angola." — Bud Johnson, author of The Perfect Season: LSU's Magic Year, 1958

Jeffrey Marx

"For more than half a century since the glory days of Billy Cannon, LSU football fans have gotten only pieces of his story. Now they finally have a more complete narrative. This book provides a detailed account of a celebrated athlete. It also offers something much bigger — the journey of a proud but wounded man who took a remarkable path and eventually ended up exactly where he wanted to be." — Jeffrey Marx, Pulitzer Prize—winning journalist and author of Walking with Tigers

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