In the 1920s four athletes defined American sports: Babe Ruth, Jack Dempsey, Bobby Jones, and Red Grange. They were the country's first athletic pantheon, its Mount Rushmore, and for a few brief years Red Grange outshone them all. The Galloping Ghost tells the remarkable untold story of this fleet-footed college football player who inspired poetry, dazzled fans as he felled opponents on the field, and, with the help of an unscrupulous and utterly brilliant manager (the first real-life Jerry Maguire), helped launch and legitimize professional football, changing American sports forever.
In this first major biography of Red Grange, Gary Andrew Poole draws on exhaustive research and interviews to evoke the golden age of sports in all its splendor and outrageousness. He transports readers from college football rallies to barnstorming tours, from the locker room to the White House to Hollywood, as he recounts Grange’s rise and tragic fall. And he lays bare the fascinating and psychologically complex relationship between a star athlete and the nation’s first real sports agent—a relationship that encapsulated the good and shadowy sides of sports and how they inevitably intersected.
For fans of Cinderella Man, The Devil and Sonny Liston, and The Devil in the White City, The Galloping Ghost is a provocative, character-driven, atmospheric sports history that gives us a new understanding of a seminal sports figure, from raw and innocent athletic talent to mortal American icon. A symbol of rebellious manhood and virility, Red Grange is a reminder of the fleeting nature of fame, youth, and physical dominance.