The Life and Death of Lou Gehrig
By Jonathan Eig
(Simon & Schuster, Paperback, 9780743268936, 432pp.)
Publication Date: March 28, 2006
Other Editions of This Title: Hardcover
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Lou Gehrig was a baseball legend -- the Iron Horse, the stoic New York Yankee who was the greatest first baseman in history, a man whose consecutive-games streak was ended by a horrible disease that now bears his name. But as this definitive new biography makes clear, Gehrig's life was more complicated -- and, perhaps, even more heroic -- than anyone really knew.
Drawing on new interviews and more than two hundred pages of previously unpublished letters to and from Gehrig, Luckiest Man gives us an intimate portrait of the man who became an American hero: his life as a shy and awkward youth growing up in New York City, his unlikely friendship with Babe Ruth (a friendship that allegedly ended over rumors that Ruth had had an affair with Gehrig's wife), and his stellar career with the Yankees, where his consecutive-games streak stood for more than half a century. What was not previously known, however, is that symptoms of Gehrig's affliction began appearing in 1938, earlier than is commonly acknowledged. Later, aware that he was dying, Gehrig exhibited a perseverance that was truly inspiring; he lived the last two years of his short life with the same grace and dignity with which he gave his now-famous "luckiest man" speech.
Meticulously researched and elegantly written, Jonathan Eig's Luckiest Man shows us one of the greatest baseball players of all time as we've never seen him before.
Jonathan Eig is a former writer and editor for the Chicago bureau of The Wall Street Journal and the former executive editor of Chicago magazine. He is the author of two highly acclaimed bestsellers, Luckiest Man: The Life and Death of Lou Gehrig and Opening Day: The Story of Jackie Robinson’s First Season. Luckiest Man won the Casey Award for best baseball book of 2005, and Opening Day was selected as one of the best books of 2007 by the Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, and Sports Illustrated. Mr. Eig lives in Chicago, half a mile from the site of the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, with his family.
"Luckiest Man is a first-class biography, thoroughly researched and nimbly written....If Gehrig's 'luckiest man' speech offered fans a glimpse into his character, Eig's Luckiest Man pushes the door wide open."
-- Bill Syken, Sports Illustrated
"A wonderful book."
-- Cal Ripken Jr.
"Luckiest Man is now the definitive life of Gehrig."
-- Henry Kisor, Chicago Sun-Times
"Luckiest Man stands in the first rank of sports biographies."
-- Kevin Baker, The New York Times Book Review