Sweet William

Sweet William : The Life of Billy Conn

4.11 (9 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

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An Irish working-class hero of Pittsburgh, Billy Conn captured the hearts of his contemporaries through his ebullient personality, stellar boxing record, and good looks. A light-heavyweight boxing champion, Conn had defeated nine current or former champions in three weight divisions by the time he was twenty one. Best remembered for his sensational near-defeat of heavyweight champion Joe Louis in 1941, Conn is still regarded as one of the greatest fighters of all time. Inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1965, Billy Conn was one of the most popular athletes of his era. \u201cThe Pittsburgh Kid\u201d captured the public\u2019s imagination with his boxing, Hollywood, and army careers, which Andrew O\u2019Toole chronicles by drawing from fascinating interviews with Conn\u2019s family, newspaper accounts, and Billy\u2019s personal scrapbooks. Presenting an intimate look inside the champion\u2019s relationship with his girlfriend, manager, and rivals, O\u2019Toole captures the personal life of a public icon and the pageantry of sports during the 1930s and \u201840s.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 376 pages
  • 160.02 x 228.6 x 30.48mm | 725.74g
  • University of Illinois Press
  • Baltimore, United States
  • English
  • 0252032241
  • 9780252032240
  • 1,131,811

About Andrew O'Toole

Andrew O'Toole is a freelance writer who is the author of several books, including Smiling Irish Eyes: Art Rooney and the Pittsburgh Steelers.show more

Review quote

"Affectionate yet evenhanded biography of the fighter known as 'The Pittsburgh Kid.' O'Toole makes a relatively normal life sing with his obvious passion for his subject, his meticulous research and his ability to empathize with Conn, his family and the colorful characters who inhabited the boxer's literal and metaphorical corner. A welcome addition to the boxing-literature canon."--Kirkus Reviews, October 15, 2007 "The rough-and-tumble sports world of the late 1930s and early 1940s emerges vividly, as O'Toole describes the way mobsters infiltrated the fight game and how Conn needed the help of Pittsburgh Steeler owner Art Rooney to stay clear of the unsavory types. Conn, though not widely known today, was a beloved, blue-collar American hero in his era, and O'Toole masterfully re-creates both the life and the times. For all fans of boxing history."--Wes Lukowsky, Booklist "In Sweet William, Andrew O'Toole takes you to the streets of Pittsburgh and New York prior to World War II. You can't help but feel the sweat, feel the struggle, and get caught up in the glamour. It's a superb piece of storytelling--and an important book about an important fighter from boxing's Golden Age."--Russell Sullivan, author of Rocky Marciano: The Rock of His Timesshow more

Rating details

9 ratings
4.11 out of 5 stars
5 33% (3)
4 44% (4)
3 22% (2)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
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