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Farewell to Heroes

Farewell to Heroes

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Frank Graham Jr. Foreword by W.C. Heinz


5.5 x 8.25, 16 illustrations

Writing Baseball


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About the Book

Originally published in 1981 and long out of print, this dual autobiography covers five unforgettable decades of the New York sporting life from 1915 to 1965. Told initially from the point of view of Frank Graham, premier sportswriter for TheNew York Sun, A Farewell to Heroes also includes the chronicles of Frank, Jr., who picks up the narrative as he becomes a sports journalist in his own right.  

Frank Graham, Sr., was a self-taught writer known for his uncanny ability to capture the high drama of a game-winning play or the color of a fight mob’s conversation in spare, straightforward prose. As a reporter, he covered the rough-and-tumble Giants of John McGraw’s day and continued through boxing’s greatest era, spanning the reigns of Jack Dempsey and Joe Louis.

As the younger Frank tells more of the story, we watch Lou Gehrig take Babe Ruth’s place as the Yankees’ star and then trace his glorious career to its tragic conclusion. We see firsthand the legendary Branch Rickey and Jackie Robinson and boxing’s brief but golden age on television in the 1950s.

Aided by sixteen photographs and preserving the most masterful of his father’s writing while adding to it the best of his own, Frank Graham, Jr., has given the sports fan A Farewell to Heroes, perhaps the ultimate sports reminiscence of a time when the romance of sport gave life a golden hue, when heroes still roamed the earth.

“In what he calls this ‘kind of dual autobiography,’ he is his father’s son, having learned to look and listen as his father did and still go his own way,” says W. C. Heinz, longtime sportswriter for The New York Sun, in his new foreword to this paperback edition.


As a sportswriter, Frank Graham, Jr., has published four books and numerous articles for Sports Illustrated, Sport, The New Republic, Saturday Evening Post, and The New York Times Magazine. Turning later to an interest in natural history and conservation, he wrote eight more books, including Since Silent Spring, The Adirondacks, and Where the Place Called Morning Lies. He is currently a field editor for Audubon and, along with his wife, Ada, has written more than two dozen books for children.


“Here’s a title to be filed under that rarest of genre classifications—the dual autobiography, first published more than 20 years ago and out of print until this spring. Frank Graham Sr. was a fabled newspaper reporter in the Golden Age of Sports in the 1920s and ’30s. His son followed a similar career path, writing about athletes of the post-World War II era. This is not an anthology of previously published articles or magazines, however. Its content is much more intimate—a memoir of times and places long gone, as seen through the eyes and ears of a father and son, each toiling in the same job, but with wholly different perspectives on sport. In the end, the reader learns just as much about the ups and downs of the writers’ professional lives as he does the heroes and events portrayed in the Grahams’ sports columns.”USA Today Sports Weekly