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Golden Boy: The Harold Simmons Story Hardcover – April 1, 2003


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 328 pages
  • Publisher: Eakin Press; 1st edition (April 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1571687475
  • ISBN-13: 978-1571687470
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.3 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #502,637 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

John J. Nance, aviation analyst for ABC News and a familiar face on Good Morning America, is the author of several bestselling novels including Fire Flight, Skyhook, Turbulence, and Orbit. Two of his novels, Pandora's Clock and Medusa's Child, have been made into highly successful television miniseries. A lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Air Force Reserve, Nance is a decorated pilot veteran of Vietnam and Operations Desert Storm/Desert Shield. He lives in Washington State.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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See all 16 customer reviews
While I still put in long hours (in fact, the longest hours of my life), I enjoy every minute of it.
Steve Emerson
This extremely well written book tells the story of this "business giant" in a manner that is both highly entertaining and exceedingly informative and instructive.
JERRY WILLIAMS
In general, the book is excellent, and I would recommend it to anyone interested in this genre of book.
Kevin Driedger

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By barry cohen on June 14, 2004
Format: Hardcover
THIS BOOK PROVIDES A BETTER BUSINESS EDUCATION THAN A YEAR AT HARVARD BUSINESS SCHOOL. IT IS SO WELL WRITTEN, HOWEVER, THAT IT READS LIKE AN EXCITING, PAGE-TURNING NOVEL THAT CANNOT BE PUT DOWN UNTIL THE LAST PAGE.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By ALAN HARRIS on February 9, 2005
Format: Hardcover
John Nance, the author of "Golden Boy: The Harold Simmons Story," is an extraordinary storyteller. But, with the life of Harold Simmons as his subject, Nance was blessed with the opportunity that every writer dreams about. Indeed, the worst writer in the world could not have made this story boring if he tried. Harold Simmons is one of the greatest businessmen of all time. But, his amazing life story encompasses far more than business. He has overcome great adversity during his rise from a middle class existence in small town Texas to billionaire status. Most importantly, however, he did so without compromising the highest standards of integrity and ethics that were instilled in him by his parents. He hobnobs with movie stars and personally pilots jet planes, but has not lost the common touch. He is an acknowledged financial genius, but is humble, shy and self-effacing. He controls six corporations that are listed on the New York Stock Exchange, but looks upon his wealth as a tool to alleviate the suffering of his fellow man by funding cures for cancer and arthritis. He is a God fearing Christian who realizes that he was blessed with his brainpower for a purpose --- to make the world a better place to live in. I could go on, and on, and on. But, I trust that I have already communicated how truly great a book this is.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By GORDON HILL on February 7, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I HAVE A VORACIOUS APPETITE FOR BOOKS ABOUT BUSINESS, FINANCE, THE STOCK MARKET, ETC. AS THIS FACT IS WELL KNOWN TO MY FRIENDS AND RELATIVES, I FREQUENTLY RECEIVE BOOKS ON BUSINESS RELATED SUBJECT MATTER AS CHRISTMAS AND BIRTHDAY PRESENTS. UNFORTUNATELY, MORE OFTEN THAN NOT, THE PHRASE "IF YOU'VE READ ONE, YOU'VE READ THEM ALL" IS APPLICABLE." THIS MADE "GOLDEN BOY: THE HAROLD SIMMONS STORY" ALL THE MORE EXCEPTIONAL. THIS MAGNIFICENT BIOGRAPHY IS, FAR AND AWAY, THE BEST BOOK OF ITS KIND. BUT EVEN THAT COMPLIMENT IS INSUFFICIENT, FOR I HAVE NEVER READ A BOOK OF THIS "KIND." "GOLDEN BOY" IS A HYBRID. IT IS A TERRIFIC BIOGRAPHY COUPLED WITH A GREAT REFERENCE GUIDE TO THE BUSINESS WORLD. IN SHORT, A MASTERPIECE!!!
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Kevin Driedger on September 18, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Clearly Nance is a level above the rest in his writing ability. Having waded through more than one business biography, it was a pleasure to read one written by such a high caliber author. This was a very well chronicled history of a man who seems to embody the common characteristics of the truly great CEOs described by Jim Collins in 'Good to Great': modest and reserved, but having steely determination and focus.

In general, the book is excellent, and I would recommend it to anyone interested in this genre of book. It is a very good description of how Mr. Simmons got to where he is...

BUT, after getting through half the book, red flags began to appear when it became clear that the author is very hesitant to say anything even remotely negative about his subject. To take it as face value, Mr. Simmons was a perfect husband (despite having his first two wives walk out on him), a perfect father (who's daughters inexplicably attemped to sue him) and a perfect leader and boss. Perhaps this is all exactly as stated, but the author would be more believable if he tried to get a little of the other side of these issues and balance the perspective somewhat. I cannot recall one negative thing said about this man.

I'm not one who is interested in "expose" style books that dig up a bunch of dirt on someone, however it is important to characterize your subject as human. We all have flaws, and it seems strange that these are never addressed. This one-sided take makes one a little skeptical about perspectives taken in other parts of the book (such as his wonderful treatment of existing management in companies Contran acquired).

Still, reservations aside, this is well worth the read.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Robert Stone on February 22, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Harold Simmons is one of the most brilliant and perspicacious financial and business strategists on the planet. He has conceptualized, designed and implemented some of the most sophisticated, complicated and arcane financial transactions that Wall Street has ever seen. However, as von Moltke said: "No battle plan ever survives contact with the enemy." And, as the Roman poet Horace stated: "Adversity reveals genius, prosperity conceals it." On more than one occasion, Harold Simmons' massive brainpower enabled him to overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles and "snatch victory from the jaws of defeat." He persevered when lesser men would have "thrown in the towel" and, in so doing, proved his greatness again and again. This marvelous book details how a young man from a small town in Texas became one of the wealthiest and most successful businessmen the world has ever seen. It is a great read.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Steve Emerson on February 7, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I was so inspired by this great biography of self-made billionaire industrialist Harold Simmons, that I finally got up the courage to quit my underpaid/overworked job and go into business for myself. While I still put in long hours (in fact, the longest hours of my life), I enjoy every minute of it. There is enormous satisfaction in "working for yourself." I finally have something to show for my efforts. (It is akin to the difference between paying rent on an apartment and making mortgage payments on your home. The rent payments are gone forever, while the mortgage payments build your net worth.) I am well on my way to financial independence and the "good life." And I owe it all to this wonderful book. My only complaint is that Harold Simmons' biography wasn't written ten years ago. If it had been, and if I'd been lucky enough to have read it, I have no doubt that I'd be a multimillionaire by now.
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