by Frank Graham, Jr.
foreword by W.C. Heinz
Southern Illinois University Press, 2003
Paper: 978-0-8093-2491-0 | eISBN: 978-0-8093-8984-1
Library of Congress Classification GV742.42.G7A34 2003
Dewey Decimal Classification 070.449796092


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 TheNew 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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