He was 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? New York Times bestselling author Leigh Montville delivers an
intimate, riveting account of this extraordinary life.
Still a gangly teenager when he stepped into a
Boston Red Sox uniform in 1939, Williams’ boisterous personality and penchant
for towering home runs earned him adoring admirers (the fans) and venomous
critics (the sportswriters). In 1941 the entire country followed Williams’
stunning .406 season, a record that has not been touched in over six decades.
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. He was
back in 1946, dominating the sport alongside teammates Dominic DiMaggio, Johnny
Pesky, and Bobby Doerr.
Ted Willams’ 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. In death, controversy and public outcry followed
Williams, the result of disagreements among his children over the decision to
have his body preserved in a cryonics facility, a fate, many argue, Williams
With unmatched verve and passion, and drawing upon
hundreds of interviews, acclaimed bestselling author Leigh Montville brings to
life Ted Williams’ superb triumphs, lonely tragedies, and intensely colorful
personality, in a biography that is fitting of an American hero and legend.
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