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Last King of the Sports Page: The Life and Career of Jim Murray (SPORTS & AMERICAN CULTURE) Hardcover – June 29, 2012

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Ted Geltner spent seventeen years as a writer and editor at newspapers in California, Pennsylvania, and Florida and is currently Assistant Professor of Journalism at Valdosta State University in Valdosta, Georgia. 
 

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Product Details

  • Series: SPORTS & AMERICAN CULTURE
  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: University of Missouri (June 29, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0826219799
  • ISBN-13: 978-0826219794
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,416,197 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Bill Emblom on August 20, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
First I have to say Jim Murray has always been my favorite sportswriter. I remember back in the early 1960's impatiently waiting for my Great Uncle to finish reading the Milwaukee Sentinel so I could see what Jim Murray had to say in his column. I have all of Jim Murray's books and this latest one does not disappoint.

The first part of the book is about Jim's years growing up in Connecticut and the breakup of his parents' marriage. Jim arrived in Los Angeles when the city was brimming with excitement with the Dodgers, Lakers, and Rams and Jim Murray was there to report it. He first started with the Los Angeles Herald Examiner prior to moving to the Los Angeles Times where he wrote his column for the next several decades. In addition to his skill in using the English language Jim Murray would often use his background in history in his humorous one-liners of which he became so well-known for.

Jim Murray's life was not all a bed of roses as he suffered through depression with the death of one of his sons and his first wife Gerry. However, a woman named Linda McCoy, who eventually became his second wife, literally saved him from an earlier death. Physical problems with his heart and eyes, which for all practical purposes left him blind, plagued him for several years as well.

This book is not a selection of Jim Murray's humorous columns. That has been done in previous books. This is a biography of his life. Jim Murray never knew how many lives he touched with his columns and how many of his one-liners are remembered and used in conversations today. I have a boxful of his columns covered with contact paper that I have saved over the years.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Roger D. Launius VINE VOICE on October 4, 2012
Format: Hardcover
As the editor of the "Sports and American Culture" series published by the University of Missouri Press, I was most pleased to see this book come to fruition. It is a superb addition to the series.

Many younger sports fans, unfortunately, do not know who Jim Murray was. No question, he was a one of the most significant sports writers of the twentieth century. Although he held a number of positions, including as one of the early journalists working for "Sports Illustrated," he is most noted for his longstanding sports columns in the "Los Angeles Times." From that position in the sports hierarchy Murray wrote highly personal, sometimes moving, oftentimes humorous, and always insightful columns on all manner of sports activities, personalities, and happenings. His voice was a unique one, along with such contemporaries as Jerome Holtzman, Shirley Povich, and a couple of other columnists. For the years that he was active, especially the 1950s and 1960s, Murray was one of the top five columnists in the U.S. As an elder statesmen in the sports reporting world in the 1980s and 1990s, he still had a profound impact on the course of journalism.

Among many other aspects of this book, I was moved by Murray's championing of desegregation in sports, and especially his criticism of the segregated University of Alabama football team in 1961. For his stand in the "LA Times" Murray was accused of every vile action imaginable and every name one could come up with. Murray was right and the segregationists were wrong; it is amazing how hard it was to force major football powers in the American South to enroll African Americans that would greatly advance the excellence of these teams. Even when the direct result of desegregation could be measured in more wins and fewer losses on the field the reluctance, and the vehemence with which it was opposed, was palpable.

Tim Geltner's biography of Jim Murray is superb. Enjoy!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Robert L Fetzner on June 17, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Having lived in Southern California, I would read Murray's column every day. There may have been some, that I didn't find interesting, but on the whole I found his columns extremely topical and entertaining. In his later life I met him and talked to him, about several columns I'd liked very much and remembered. He was so gracious to listen and even asked my name, which I'm sure didn't mean a damn thing to him, but he spent time with me and was very attentive. I've missed reading his columns very much.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Steebs on June 27, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I grew up reading Jim's columns and always sought out the papers that carried his column where ever life took me. Reading this book now has put me back in time when no day was complete without reading Murray. Geitner intertwines classic Murray renderings with Jim's own life story. Great writing...a great read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Joan F. Strauss on April 24, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Terrific book with an inside look at how a great sportswriter dealt with personal as well as professional challenges. Contains an absolutely moving column written at the time of his wife's untimely passing. A must read for fans of not just sports but of great writing.
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