Gene Tunney book reveals a life the boxing ring could not contain

Gene Tunney book reveals a life the boxing ring could not contain

Book signing at Borders in Fairfield on Nov. 16; Stamford Nov. 28

Image: J Cavanaugh It looks like veteran sportswriter Jack Cavanaugh has scored a knock-out with his new book on legendary boxing champion Gene Tunney: Boxing's Brainiest Champ and His Upset of the Great Jack Dempsey. Random House, the publisher of the book, has nominated Jack Cavanaugh for the Pulitzer Prize in biography. Cavanaugh, who teaches writing at Fairfield University, vividly presents the clash of the titans in Gene Tunney and Jack Dempsey, while also painting a fascinating portrait of the gifted athlete whose intellect served him well both in and out of the boxing ring.

Cavanaugh, who has covered everything in sports from major boxing bouts to Super Bowl games, the World Series, America's Cup, the Masters golf tournament and U.S. Open golf and tennis tournaments, will speak and sign his book at Borders on the Post Road at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 16, and at the Stamford Borders on High Ridge Road on Tuesday, Nov. 28 a 7:30 p.m.

In addition to racking up a 77-1 record as a prizefighter (he would later avenge his only loss), Tunney would go on to serve as CEO of several major companies and as a patron of the arts. His fondness for Shakespeare and his marriage to his only love, heiress Polly Lauder of Greenwich, Conn., seemed at odds with the career that brought him to prominence. This is a book that has it all, because its main character had it all and wore it with grace.

Published by Random House, Tunney offers a unique perspective on sports, celebrity, and popular culture in the 1920s. But more than an exciting and insightful real-life tale, replete with heads of state, irrepressible showmen, mobsters, Hollywood luminaries, and the cream of New York society, Tunney is an irresistible story of an American underdog who forever changed the way fans look at their heroes.

Cavanaugh's work has appeared most notably on the sports pages of The New York Times . In addition, he has been a frequent contributor to Sports Illustrated and has written for Reader's Digest , Tennis and Golf magazines. He also reported for ABC News for six years and for CBS News for two years. Previously he had been a reporter for the New Haven Register , the Providence Journal and United Press International.

Posted On: 11-07-2006 10:11 AM

Volume: 39 Number: 77