Item description for The Best that I Can Be: An Autobiography by Rafer Johnson, Philip Goldberg & Tom Brokaw...
Overview The 1960 Olympic decathlon gold-medal winner recounts his journey from a Texas shanty town to rural California to UCLA, where he became a world-famous athlete and began his remarkable career
Publishers Description 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."--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title."
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Studio: Galilee Trade
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.7" Width: 5.72" Height: 0.78" Weight: 0.9 lbs.
Release Date Aug 17, 1999
Publisher Galilee Trade
ISBN 0385487614 ISBN13 9780385487610
Availability 0 units.
More About Rafer Johnson, Philip Goldberg & Tom Brokaw
Johnson won the gold medal in the 1960 Olympic Games.
Reviews - What do customers think about The Best that I Can Be: An Autobiography?
GREATEST DECATLETE EVER IN MY BOOK! Oct 31, 2004
Rafer Johnson, to me, exemplifies the perfect American athlete. Besides winning the 1960 Rome Olympics Decathlon in record points, he also won gols at the 1955 Pan American Games and took silver medal at Melbourne, AUS Olympic Decathlon! Rafer was known for promoting special olympics, and won numerous awards for sportsmanship over the years! Mr Johnson was one of those few in every million or so that truly set and still sets the standard of what being a true American, athlete and humanitarian is all about!!!!!!!!!! Rafer excelled in high school in football, averaging 17 yards a carry, batted .400 in baseball, averaged 17 points a game in basketball and averaged over 9 yards a carry in football while in high school. But Rafer's specialty was track and field. Going to UCLA, Rafer was offered a scholarship to play football but his real love was track and field. His high school coach took him to a decathlon meet near where 2 time decathlon winner Bob Mathias lived in Tulare, CA. Rafer told his coach:"gee coach, I could have beaten most of those guys there"! Rafer took on and beat such greats in the 50's as Russian decathlon whiz Vasily Kuznyetsov and fellow UCLA teammate and later his arch rival in '60 Rome Olympics CK Yang. Mr Johnson was flag bearer for USA Team in '60 games and also lit the torch at '84 Olympics in Los Angeles Games. Mr Johnson also acted and has done much in his lifetime promoting great charatible events and things for America's youth and good sportsmanship!!! Rafer Johnson is about the best example, to me, of an American, a true American and sportsman. A real leader, sportsman and humanitarian now and always!!!!!!!!!!!!! He has always and will continue to always inspire my life and millions of others the world over now and forevermore!
You, Rafer always was, and always will be my personal hero! Oct 14, 2000
I was so glad to learn that you've finally come out with a book, Rafer! I have always been fascinated with your decathalon vs CK YANG, and wish that there could be more films and pictures (book) just on the 1960 Decathalon, alone! I remember old tv ads with you in them years past and your roles in TARZAN movies. I knew from watching you that you would always be my life's role model! The "new" generation we live in today has so much technology and modern tech toys; but something "REAL BIG" is lacking! True greatness and love of (SPORT) for the love of it, from your heart, and not big money! Men were real men then, and athletes were real athletes! I have always dreamed of meeting you in person oneday! You and Ethiopia's ABBEE BIKILA were, are and always be two of my all-time favorite role models and athletes, forever! Sure wish that more could be done and written(pictures and films) of 1960 Olympics, especially the decathalon and marathon! You're truly a "great" man, and a "fine" american athlete of our time and the 20th century! write more books soon!
Is this guy for real? Jan 24, 2000
It was nice to learn about what has happened to Rafer Johnson over the years. The Best That I Can Be was a wonderful reminder of a marvelous athlete and competitor from years past plus an added bonus of hearing Rafer's incessant optimism and enthusiam. Gold Medalists come and go but few do so with the class and human decency that Johnson has displayed over a long period of time. If ever one is looking for a role model who demonstrated overcoming adversity with a smile on his face, it was Rafer Johnson. I only wished I had read this sooner.
THE BEST THAT I CAN BE Jan 20, 2000
I grew up hearing and reading about Rafer Johnson all of my life. Track was never a sport I paid much attention to before Johnson. He made it bigger than life for me, as Tiger Woods does for golf. A few years ago I was introduced to Rafer and was stunned to find him remarkably shy and guarded, very much unlike the dynamic man I saw as an athlete. I could tell that he was warm, but very, very careful. It wasn't until I read THE BEST THAT I CAN BE that I understood the man, that I understood how much one's background can flavor an entire lifetime. This book not only gave me his remarkable story, it left me with an insight that I carry with me everyday.