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August 06, 2008
6.0 X 0.38 X 9.0 inches | 0.55 pounds
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About the Author
JIM TULLY, American author, was born in a log cabin near St. Mary's, Ohio, on June 3, 1888, the third son of James Dennis Tully and Marie Bridget Lawler Tully. "My father," says Tully, "was a drunken ditch digger who came from Ireland when he was ten years of age. My mother was a country school teacher who also came from Ireland as a child. These two people and many others who were a part of my miserable background are depicted in my books." In his seventh year, Tully's mother died, and he was sent to the St. Joseph Orphan Asylum in Cincinnati, Ohio. At eleven he left the orphanage and went to work on a farm fifty miles north of his birthplace, where he was "kicked about" for three years. When he was fourteen he ran away and became a tramp. For seven years he "rode the rods," drifting from town to town (he crossed the country three times) occasionally working as a laborer, chainmaker, dishwasher, circus hand, or newsboy. He sojourned at intervals in five jails. "He became an inveterate library bum," writes Sara Haardt, "ducking in and out of public libraries from one end of the country to the other. He read everything: biography, history, fiction; Dostoievsky, Carlyle, Olive Schreiner, Balzac, Dumas, Mark Twain, Conrad, the files of the old Smart Set." At twenty-one Tully became a pugilist and might have gone to the top, he says, save that he "was not stolid enough." He was a featherweight, fighting at about 122 pounds. After winning a number of bouts, he was knocked unconscious for nearly twenty four hours in San Francisco. The ring, he decided, was not his vocation. He became a salesman-"and succeeded," earning $20,000 a year. In later metamorphoses he was a traveling tree surgeon and a reporter on the Akron Press and Beacon Journal.