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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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Chronicles the life and journey of Jim Murray’s experiences with twentieth-century American sports, culture and journalism.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Who's Jim Murray? If you don't know, and you're aspiring to create any form of media content, run...don't walk... Read morePublished 20 months ago by Thomas S. Mueller
I expected more insights into the man, his personal and professional relationships, and the influence of his writing. This book fell well short of the mark. Read morePublished on July 26, 2014 by Kevin Stewart
Much of what was related seemed trite. Many anecdotes were not amusing at all. More excerpts from columns would better reflect the greatness the author is trying to relate Cold... Read morePublished on June 22, 2013 by Charles