The Last Folk Hero: The Life and Myth of Bo Jackson

Mariner: Houghton Harcourt. Oct. 2022. 496p. ISBN 9780358437673. $29.99. SPORTS
Former Sports Illustrated senior writer Pearlman (Two Writers Slinging Yang; Gunslinger podcast) vividly relates the life, times, and achievements of Bo Jackson, the only professional athlete to have been named an All Star in both baseball and football. Based on extensive research, including 720 original interviews, this book takes the reader back to 1962 when Jackson was born in racially segregated Bessemer, AL, and through his years at Auburn University, where he was twice named All-American running back and won the 1985 Heisman Trophy. That occurred after he rejected playing for the New York Yankees, an offer that came while he was still in high school, where he also excelled in football and won two state decathlon titles. The book describes the years he played baseball as a Memphis Chick, a Kansas City Royal, a Chicago White Sox, and a California Angel. He later played for the NFL’s L.A. Raiders until a hip injury ended his career. Today, he says he gets his rush from raising money for the Alabama Governor’s Emergency Relief Fund through his Bo Bikes Rama organization.
VERDICT An excellent, well-researched biography with insights, firsthand accounts, and an extensive bibliography section. Highly recommended for all interested in sports.
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