The Best that I Can be: An Autobiography
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 BEUser Review - Kirkus
A diverting autobiography by the 1960 Olympic decathlon champion, told with equal parts grace, humility, and candor. Johnson's story is set up in ten chapters, each representing an event in the ... Read full review
The best that I can be: an autobiographyUser 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
The Starting Blocks
The Long Leap Forward
Shooting Forward into Life
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