The definitive account of the life and tragic death of baseball legend Lou Gehrig.
Lou Gehrig was a baseball legend—the Iron Horse, the stoic New York Yankee who was the greatest first baseman in history, a man whose consecutive-games streak was ended by a horrible disease that now bears his name. But as this definitive new biography makes clear, Gehrig’s life was more complicated—and, perhaps, even more heroic—than anyone really knew.
Drawing on new interviews and more than two hundred pages of previously unpublished letters to and from Gehrig, Luckiest Man gives us an intimate portrait of the man who became an American hero: his life as a shy and awkward youth growing up in New York City, his unlikely friendship with Babe Ruth (a friendship that allegedly ended over rumors that Ruth had had an affair with Gehrig’s wife), and his stellar career with the Yankees, where his consecutive-games streak stood for more than half a century. What was not previously known, however, is that symptoms of Gehrig’s affliction began appearing in 1938, earlier than is commonly acknowledged. Later, aware that he was dying, Gehrig exhibited a perseverance that was truly inspiring; he lived the last two years of his short life with the same grace and dignity with which he gave his now-famous “luckiest man” speech.
Meticulously researched and elegantly written, Jonathan Eig’s Luckiest Man shows us one of the greatest baseball players of all time as we’ve never seen him before.
Jonathan Eig is a former senior special writer for The Wall Street Journal. He is the author of several books, including two highly acclaimed bestsellers, Luckiest Man: The Life and Death of Lou Gehrig and Opening Day: The Story of Jackie Robinson’s First Season. Visit him at JonathanEig.com.
Edward Herrmann's films include Nixon, The Purple Rose of Cairo, Annie, and The Aviator. On television's Gilmore Girls he starred as the patriarch, Richard Gilmore. He has also appeared on The Good Wife, Law & Order, 30 Rock, Grey's Anatomy, and Oz. He earned an Emmy Award for The Practice, and remains well-known for his Emmy-nominated portrayals of FDR in Eleanor and Franklin and Eleanor and Franklin: The White House Years. On Broadway, he won a Tony Award for his performance in Mrs. Warren's Profession.
"As my consecutive games streak grew, my curiosity about Lou Gehrig also grew and I wanted to learn more about him and what kind of person he was. Jonathan Eig's book, Luckiest Man, really helped me put all of the pieces together and gain a solid understanding of Lou, both on and off the field. I thought it was a wonderful book that provided insights about Lou, his amazing life and outstanding career." -- Cal Ripken, Jr.
"This is a book for Yankee fans, baseball fans, and anyone who wants to read about a man whose determination and heroism inspire us today." -- Rudolph W. Giuliani
"Jonathan Eig's portrait of Lou Gehrig is as elegant, understated, and powerful as the Iron Man himself." -- Jane Leavy, author of Sandy Koufax: A Lefty's Legacy
"With splendid results, Jonathan Eig separates fact from fantasy in his stirring portrait of an athlete dying young. The Lou Gehrig he presents is more subtle, nuanced, and indeed more neurotic than the stiff, cardboard figure we previously knew. All of which makes Gehrig¹s tragic final struggle more moving and profound. A wonderful book." -- Roger Kahn, author of The Boys of Summer
"The ancient maxim 'Never get to know your heroes' does not apply to Lou Gehrig, the tragic Yankee whose life is so deftly and thoroughly examined by Jonathan Eig in this superb biography." -- Fay Vincent, former commissioner, Major League Baseball