Ted Williams: The Biography of an American Hero

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Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, Apr 13, 2004 - Biography & Autobiography - 400 pages
6 Reviews
The Kid. The Splendid Splinter. Teddy Ballgame. One of the greatest figures of his generation, and arguably the greatest baseball hitter of all time. But what made Ted Williams a legend – and a lightning rod for controversy in life and in death?  

Still a gangly teenager when he stepped into a Boston Red Sox uniform in 1939, Williams’s boisterous personality and penchant for towering home runs earned him adoring admirers and venomous critics. In 1941, the entire country followed Williams's stunning .406 season, a record that has not been touched in over six decades. Then at the pinnacle of his prime, Williams left Boston to train and serve as a fighter pilot in World War II, missing three full years of baseball, making his achievements all the more remarkable.

Ted Willams's personal life was equally colorful. His attraction to women (and their attraction to him) was a constant. He was married and divorced three times and he fathered two daughters and a son. He was one of corporate America's first modern spokesmen, and he remained, nearly into his eighties, a fiercely devoted fisherman. With his son, John Henry Williams, he devoted his final years to the sports memorabilia business, even as illness overtook him. And in death, controversy and public outcry followed Williams and the disagreements between his children over the decision to have his body preserved for future resuscitation in a cryonics facility--a fate, many argue, Williams never wanted.

With unmatched verve and passion, and drawing upon hundreds of interviews, acclaimed best-selling author Leigh Montville brings to life Ted Williams's superb triumphs, lonely tragedies, and intensely colorful personality, in a biography that is fitting of an American hero and legend.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - matthewpoggi - LibraryThing

A painful slog through quote after quote of people who knew Ted Williams, with the author failing to construct an engaging narrative and avoiding to provide any analysis. Read full review

Review: Ted Williams: The Biography of an American Hero

User Review  - Tim Snyder - Goodreads

A well balanced and complete biography that captures all of Ted's contradictions. It was fun to read and provided insights into some of the great moments of baseball history and many of the back stories. Read full review


Title Page Dedication Epigraph Prologue
San Diego
World War II
Fishing at Islamorada The Saltwater Life
Citrus Hills 19871993
Fishing on the Miramichi The Freshwater Life
A Changed Life
Citrus Hills 19941999


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About the author (2004)

Three-time New York Times bestselling author Leigh Montville is a former columnist at the Boston Globe and former senior writer at Sports Illustrated. He is the author of The Mysterious MontagueThe Big BamTed WilliamsAt the Altar of SpeedManute, and Why Not Us? He lives in Boston.

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