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The Best That I Can Be an Autobiography

by Philip Goldberg

  • ISBN: 9780385487610
  • ISBN10: 0385487614

The Best That I Can Be an Autobiography

by Philip Goldberg

  • List Price: $19.00
  • Binding: Paperback
  • Publisher: Bantam Dell Pub Group
  • Publish date: 09/01/1999
  • ISBN: 9780385487610
  • ISBN10: 0385487614
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Description: Rafer Johnson's story is the classic American dream: hard work leading to success, honor, and glory. When his family moved from Texas to rural California, they were the only blacks in town. Rafer became a straight-A student, class president, and four-four-sport legend. At UCLA, he won international fame as an athlete while becoming the first African American in a national fraternity, student body president, and a leader of the Campus Crusade for Christ. As an Olympian, he captained the U.S. team and carried the American flag. At the 1984 Summer Games in Los Angeles, he was given the honor of lighting the Olympic flame. In all his capacities, he has been revered as much for his decency as for his accomplishments.

Structured around the ten events of the decathlon, Rafer's memoir vividly describes an exceptional life. It takes us from obscure hamlets and quiet churches to the glamour of Hollywood and Washington, D.C., to dramatic athletic duels in Moscow, Melbourne, and Rome. It introduces remarkable people, both unknown and celebrated (the Kennedy family, Gloria Steinem, Tom Brokaw, and others) who befriended Rarer and affected his life. It tells of obstacles and tragedies -- crippling injuries, an alcoholic father, the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy -- and what it takes to overcome them.

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