The Best That I Can Be

Front Cover
G.K. Hall, 1998 - Biography & Autobiography - 392 pages
2 Reviews
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.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

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


The Starting Blocks
The Long Leap Forward

8 other sections not shown

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (1998)

Johnson won the gold medal in the 1960 Olympic Games.

Philip Goldberg, Ph.D., is a spiritual counselor, meditation teacher, and ordained Interfaith Minister. The author or co-author of 17 books, including "The Intuitive Edge" and "Making Peace with God," he has appeared on many television and radio talk shows, including NBC's "Today," and has been featured in the "Los Angeles Times," "Prevention," "Cosmopolitan," and "Ladies Home Journal," He lives in Los Angeles, where he sees private clients and writes books and screenplays.

Bibliographic information