The Best that I Can be: An Autobiography

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Doubleday, 1998 - Biography & Autobiography - 270 pages
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Rafer Johnson's story is the classic American dream: hard work leading to success, honor, and glory.  Here, he openly writes about his humble beginnings in an obscure African American Texas ghetto, his growing up in the all-white, sun-drenched Californian town of Kingsburg, and his time at UCLA as the president of the student body and an acclaimed athlete.  His talents brought him to dramatic athletic duels in Moscow, Melbourne, and Rome, and to the glamour of acting, broadcasting, and politics in Hollywood, Washington, D.C., and the rest of the nation.

Structured around the ten events of the decathlon, Rafer's memoir vividly describes an exceptional life.  It introduces remarkable people, both unknown and celebrated (the Kennedy family; Gloria Steinem; Bill Bright, founder of Campus Crusade; Tom Brokaw; and others), who befriended Rafer and affected his life.  It tells of obstacles and tragedies--crippling injuries, an alcoholic father, the assassination of his close friend Robert F.  Kennedy--and what it takes to overcome them.  With tact, integrity, and acute observation, Rafer Johnson shares the intimate moments that have shaped his life and the lives of others.

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The best that I can be: an autobiography

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

This is the autobiography of one of this country's greatest athletes, Rafer Johnson. A former world champion decathlete and gold medal winner at the 1960 Rome Olympics, Johnson has been admired by ... Read full review

Review: The Best that I Can Be: An Autobiography

User Review  - Villager - Goodreads

I enjoyed this autobiography. I didn't know much about the life and times of Rafer Johnson. He was truly a remarkable athlete. More importantly, he was a remarkable human being who shared some great ... Read full review

Contents

The Starting Blocks
1
The Long Leap Forward
20
Shooting Forward into Life
56
Copyright

8 other sections not shown

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About the author (1998)

Rafer Johnson won the gold medal for the decathlon in the 1960 Olympic Games, posting a new Olympic record in the event.  After the Olympics, he devoted his time to his family, his career, and helping others.  To this end, he became a sports commentator, worked with Robert F.  Kennedy, is President of Rafer Johnson Enterprises, and Chairman of the Board for the Southern California Special Olympics.  He lives in Los Angeles with his wife, and has two children.

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