Howard Cosell: The Man, the Myth, and the Transformation of American Sports


Product Details

W. W. Norton & Company
Publish Date
6.5 X 1.5 X 9.3 inches | 1.6 pounds
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About the Author

Mark Ribowsky is a New York Times acclaimed, best-selling author of fifteen books, including biographies of Tom Landry, Al Davis, Hank Williams, and most recently, In the Name of the Father: Family, Football, and the Manning Dynasty. He lives in Florida.lorida.


Starred review. The definitive word on a loved, loathed, maddeningly complex broadcasting legend.
Ribowsky, who previously wrote a fine book on Satchel Paige, gives Cosell the treatment this controversial giant in sports journalism deserves.
Ribowsky has deftly captured this complicated figure, and anyone who cares about sports and how we talk about sports will find this book well worth the time, no matter how off-putting its subject was to many.--Steve Kettman
Ribowsky, who seems to have read just about everything on Cosell, is a deft narrator of the life of Humble Howard, taking his readers from the skinny kid in Brooklyn who yearned to spend more time with an absent father to the sportscaster who helped make an event out of "Monday Night Football" by being so very different from anyone else who had ever called a game.
A sportscasting giant is interpreted for a generation that never knew him...Mark Ribowsky's clear-eyed take on the broadcaster who built his career on "telling it like it is" reveals the insecurities that fueled Cosell's bravado, charting his ascension from growing up in a middle-class home in Brooklyn to a short-lived career as a lawyer before elbowing his way into radio and TV and becoming the most influential--and controversial--sports commentator in America.
A powerful biography... well researched and well written.

...the book vividly depicts Cosell as a brilliant meteor that soared through the electronic sky before ultimately fading, dimmed by controversy, age, exhaustion and perhaps his own obstreperous personality. Warts and all, there has never been, and may never be again, anyone quite like Howard Cosell.--Don Ohlmeyer, former president of NBC West Coast and produced of "Monday Night Football" from 1972 to 1976

Beyond its poignant depiction of a flawed, paranoid and narcissistic character with the uncanny talent to immerse himself entirely, almost supernaturally, into emerging events, Ribowsky's Howard Cosell makes crystal clear the entwined path of Cosell's epic career within the world of Big Time sports and its broadcasting partners, as they quite literally created the monstrosities they are today.--James Campion