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Known to the general public as one time lightweight and later welterweight champion, Barney Ross, first fighter with the triple crown, here tells his life story, with the emphasis not on his fighting career, but on the personal battles he fought-and won. In Chicago, when Beryl Rasovaky was 14, his father was murdered, his mother had a nervous breakdown, the family was split. Two children went to an orphanage and Beryl and another brother were taken in by relatives. Hitherto secure in the family unity and Orthodox Judaism, these events turned the boy against God. He joined street gangs, ran errands for gangsters, committed petty thievery, organized crap games. And- to raise funds to unite the family- he entered local amateur bouts under the name of Barney Ross. With virtually no training he won the Golden Gloves in Chicago, then New York. He turned pro, joined the stable of Plan and Winch, imperilled his career by a brief return to the rackets, and eventually won his three championships. The family was reunited- but Barney began to spend his earnings at the track, and then- at 29- took his first real beating and lost the title. He opened a cocktail lounge, married, and when war broke out, joined the Marines. Wounded on Guadalcanal, he was given too much morphine and found- on his return to civilian life, that he had become an addict. His first marriage had lasted only three years; his second marriage was going on the rocks --and shocked him into committing himself for treatment. Cured- his marriage reestablished- he now devotes his life to helping others break their addiction. It is this part of the book, with its sound therapy, and advice to families about their share in the treatment, that gives the book some value beyond the confessional angle. Written honestly, without self glorification.

Publisher: Lippincott