THE MILLION DOLLAR GATE by

THE MILLION DOLLAR GATE

By
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Jack Kearns, who died at eighty just after making final corrections on this ""as-told-to"" autobiography, was a promotional genius and entrepreneur matched for brass and success only by P. T. Barnum. He managed Jack Dempsey during Dempsey's greatest years, was intimate with Wyatt Earp, Bat Masterson, Jack London, Diamond Lil, Diamond Jim Brady, Hemingway, the Hoovers Herbert and J. Edgar, and made tens of millions of dollars. For the first time, Kearns here reveals how he ""insured"" a $100,000 bet on the Dempsey-Willard match by putting plaster of Paris around the tapes on Dempsey's fists. (Dempsey thought it was just talcum powder.) ""I prefer to be called a manipulator,"" Kearns says, who more than once covertly owned both fighters in a ring match and once won a $440,000 bet by making his fighter look awful during training. He also manipulated the first million dollar gate in history (it turned out to be closer to two million). He blew millions furiously along the Gay White Way, giving $100 tips to hatcheck girls, and became one of the fabulous figures in Ring Lardner's and Damon Runyon's worlds--or perhaps they were in his world. His only regret in his last years was that he wasn't better educated--an attitude that would have delighted Lardner.

Publisher: Macmillan