Frank Graham: Biography, Career, Personal Life

Frank Graham: Biography, Career, Personal Life
Frank Graham: Biography, Career, Personal Life

Video: Frank Graham: Biography, Career, Personal Life

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Frank Graham is an American writer specializing in biography and sports journalism. He worked as a writer for almost 50 years, working in various American magazines and publications.

Frank Graham: biography, career, personal life
Frank Graham: biography, career, personal life


Frank Graham was born in 1893 in New York, in the east of Harlem.

Frank's mother died in childbirth, so all the care of the boy's upbringing was taken over by his grandmother, and after her death - by his older sister.

As a child, Frank suffered a serious illness - spinal meningitis, as a result of which he permanently lost the ability to see with one eye.

Due to the material difficulties that haunted the boy throughout his childhood and adolescence, Frankie received only secondary education and finished only one semester of the New York Graduate School of Commerce and was forced to start earning.

In 1909, the young man was 16 years old and he got a job as an office worker in the telephone company of New York. In my free time I watched boxing competitions with interest. Graham became so addicted to this sport that, despite his inferiority, he took part in several amateur boxing matches.


Realizing that he could not achieve much with one eye in boxing, he began to write articles about boxing. Soon he began to appear in the British weekly boxing magazine Boxing News and in the New York World newspaper.

Career at New York Sun

In 1915, Graham took a job at the New York Sun ("New York Sun"). In those years, it was simply called The Sun and was considered one of the three most serious New York newspapers. Published from 1833 to 1950. The style of the materials was kept in a politically conservative spirit.

Frank became the newspaper's in-house sports columnist. Since 1916, he has covered all the performances of the New York Giants baseball team. Over the years of work in the editorial office, he reached the level of Damon Runion and Grantland Rice - the most famous journalists and sports observers at that time.


Since 1934, he also began to write the column "They set the pace" about outstanding people. In 1943, 7 years before the newspaper was closed, Frank terminated the contract and went to work for a new publishing house.

Writing career and creativity

In 1943, Frank got a job at the American Look magazine. However, Frankie's position as sports editor disappointed him. The magazine was more image-oriented than text-oriented, and Graham quit a year later.

In the 1940s, Graham decided to become the author of his own books. He wrote a biography of the first American professional baseball player Lou Gehrig, New York Giants baseball club manager John McGraw, former New York governor and US presidential candidate Al Smith.

He authored books on the history of the New York Yankees, New York Giants and Brooklyn Dodgers baseball clubs. These books were subsequently regularly reprinted for over 50 years.


In 1952, Graham's book "Baseball Wit and Wisdom: Folklore of National Pastime" was published under the authorship of Graham.

Graham published his last book in 1959. It was the biographical story of Ruby Goldstein, one of the most trusted and respected American boxing judges in the 1950s. It was called "The Third Man in the Ring".

Career at New York Journal-American

In 1945, Graham became a sports journalist for the New York Journal-American daily. Until 1964, he led a sports column in it, which even received the unofficial name "Graham's Corner".

His abridged articles were regularly reprinted in the Baseball Digest and became common knowledge.

Graham worked with the New York Journal-American until his death in 1965.

Graham's signature style

Graham is widely known in the literary environment for his style of spoken "casual dialogue", which he used to create a verbal portrait of athletes. Frank himself claimed to have copied this style from the works of the American writer Ernest Hemingway.

American sports writer Leonard Coppett wrote about Graham: “He (Graham) didn't make a lot of notes. He simply absorbed everything that the interlocutor said to him in the correct context, and then reproduced it all in elegant prose and natural speech. It is this style of storytelling through dialogue that makes Graham's books very alive."

One of Leo Durocher's quotes, recorded and replicated by Graham, has become one of the legendary baseball quotes. Leo Durocher, a professional baseball player and manager of the New York Giants, pointed to his players and once told Graham, “Look at them. They are all good guys. But they finish last. The good guys always finish last."

There is another catchphrase in the world of baseball, recorded by Graham from the words of Durocher: "They will not let us into the big leagues because we are a street gang and are not afraid of anyone."

Frank Graham has acquired a reputation for being extremely gentle, kind, and tolerant. As his colleagues wrote about him: “It seems that he himself walks on the tips of his toes in order to pass through the world without disturbing anyone. His pages, which he always types with impeccable cleanliness, are typed on a typewriter with a grace that only his polite fingers possess."


According to his contemporaries, Graham changed sports journalism, bringing it closer to the genre of literature.

However, despite his reputation as a gentleman, Graham was also very fond of the representatives of the criminal world who surrounded the sport. He wrote a lot about gloomy and extraordinary sports figures and swindlers. These are gamblers, bookmakers, horse trainers, retired athletes, managers and promoters fighting for profit and going to great lengths for it.

Family, personal life and old age

In 1960, Graham fell ill with cancer. Frank submitted his last article to the New York Journal-American in December 1964. In January 1965, Frank, in acute pain, lost his balance and fell at his home in New Rochelle, New York. The unsuccessful fall ended in a skull fracture. A few days later, Frank Graham died at the Nathan Etten Hospital in the Bronx at the age of 71.

Frank's wife is Gertrude Lillian Will. Their marriage was formalized in 1923.

During the marriage, Frank had four children. Subsequently, one of Graham's sons, Frank Graham (named after his father) wrote a double biography about himself and about his father called "Farewell to the Heroes."

Awards and achievements

1957 - James Walker Award from the New York City Writers' Association.

1958 - Grantland Rice Award for Outstanding Sports Writer of the Year in the United States.

1961 - William Slocum Award for Long and Distinguished Service in Baseball.

1971 - Graham posthumously honored with the highest honor of the US Baseball Writers Association - the Taylor Spink Award

1972 - as the Graham Spink Award winner posthumously inducted into the Writers' Wing of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum

1997 - Graham is posthumously awarded the AJ Liebling Award by the Boxing Writers Association for Outstanding Work in Boxing.

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