Sugar Ray Robinson (1921-1989) was hailed as the finest boxer to ever enter a ring. Muhammad Ali once called him "the king, my master, my idol"-and indeed, he was the idol of everyone who had anything to do with boxing. But for African Americans, he was more than a great boxer. In an era when blacks were supposed to be humble and grateful for favors received, he was a man whose every move in and out of the ring showed what black pride and power meant. Sugar Ray grew up during the Depression in the ghettos of Detroit and New York, rose through the amateur boxing ranks, became Golden Gloves champion at the featherweight at the age of eighteen, and become world welterweight champion in 1946 and middleweight in 1951. Robinson had it all, but later lost it all; and in this classic autobiography he tells it all with remarkable candor. Here is Sugar Ray: the dazzlingly handsome champion with a craving for fast cars and fast living; the kid who was terrified of elevators; the young GI who, together with Joe Louis, combated racial discrimination; the honest fighter who refused a million dollars to throw a fight against Rocky Graziano; the boxer who dreamed he would kill his opponent in the ring, and did so the following night. This Da Capo edition is supplemented with a new foreword and afterword by Dave Anderson about Sugar Ray's last years in Los Angeles and the legacy he left behind, and with eight new pages of stunning photographs.
Dave Anderson joined the New York Times in 1966 after working at the New York Journal-American and the Brooklyn Eagle. He became a Sports of The Times columnist in 1971 and won a Pulitzer Prize for distinguished commentary in 1981. Among many other honors, he was inducted into the National Sports Writers and Sportscasters Hall of Fame in 1990 and in 1991 received the Red Smith Award for contributions to sports journalism from the Associated Press Sports Editors.