George E. Kimball III was an American author and journalist who spent 25 years as a sports columnist for the Boston Herald before retiring in 2005 died from esophageal cancer he was , 67. Considered one of the foremost boxing writers of his era, he is the author of Four Kings: Leonard, Hagler, Hearns, Duran, and the Last Great Era of Boxing (2008) and "Manly Art: They can run -- but they can't hide" (2011). In collaboration with John Schulian, he edited two anthologies, "At The Fights: American Writers on Boxing" (2011) and "The Fighter Still Remains: A Celebration of Boxing in Poetry and Song from Ali to Zevon" (2010). Since 1997 he had written the weekly ‘America at Large’ column for The Irish Times in Dublin, Ireland, and had contributed to a number of boxing websites.
(December 20, 1943 – July 6, 2011)
Youth and EducationDescendant of Richard Kimball (ca 1595-1675) and the son of a career Army officer, Kimball was born in Grass Valley, California, but lived all over the world as a boy, including stops in Taiwan and Germany. After graduating from high school in San Antonio, Texas, he attended the University of Kansas, and later the Iowa Writer's Workshop. He became increasingly involved in the counterculture of the late 1960s, and although he had originally attended college on a Naval ROTC scholarship, later in the decade his participation in the antiwar movement led to several arrests.
Early careerIn the late 1960s Kimball (with John Fowler and Charles Plymell) was an editor for the influential Midwestern magazine Grist before moving to New York, where he was heavily involved in the literary scene revolving around the Poetry Project at St. Mark’s-in-the-Bouwerie and the Lion’s Head saloon in Greenwich Village. After working at the Scott Meredith Literary Agency in New York, Kimball returned to Kansas in 1970, where he waged a colorful campaign for the office Douglas County sheriff. As a freelance writer he contributed to diverse publications such as The Paris Review, Rolling Stone, The Realist, and Scanlan’s Monthly, and his novel, Only Skin Deep, was published in 1968. In the early 1970s he was also an editor for the Cambridge (Mass.) literary journal Ploughshares.
Journalistic careerIn early 1972 Kimball became the sports editor of the Boston Phoenix, and for nearly a decade there worked on a Phoenix staff that at various times included Joe Klein, Jon Landau, Janet Maslin, Curt Raymond, Sidney Blumenthal and David Denby, while nurturing the early careers of fellow sportswriters Mike Lupica, Michael Gee, and Charles P. Pierce. In 1980 he began a columnist for the Herald, and for the next quarter-century covered major sporting events around the world, including Super Bowls and World Series, NBA Finals and the Olympic Games, golf’s four majors and Ryder Cups, Wimbledon and the America’s Cup yacht races. He covered nearly 400 world title fights, and was the 1985 recipient of the Nat Fleischer Award for Excellence in Boxing Journalism. Kimball also received ‘Best Column’ awards from the Boxing Writers Association of America, the Golf Writers Association of America, Boston Magazine, and United Press International.
- Only Skin Deep (Olympia/Ophelia, 1968)
- Sunday’s Fools: stomped, tromped, kicked, and chewed in the NFL. Houghton Mifflin. 1974. ISBN 9780395199527. (with Tom Beer)
- Chairman of the Boards -- Red Rock Press, Dublin (2008) (with Eamonn Coghlan)
- American at Large -- Red Rock Press, Dublin (2008)
- Four Kings: Leonard, Hagler, Hearns, Duran and the Last Great Era of Boxing. McBooks Press. September 1, 2009. ISBN 9781590132388.; Mainstream Publishing, Edinburgh = date July 1, 2008
- The Fighter Still Remains: A Celebration of Boxing in Poetry and Song from Ali to Zevon -- publisher = Fore Angels Press/DiBella Entertainment/ date June 1, 2010 (with John Schulian)
- At The Fights: American Writers on Boxing -- Publisher - The Library of America -- date March 3, 2011 (with John Schulian)
- Manly Art: They can run -- but they can't hide. Publisher = McBooks Press = date= April 1, 2011
- The New Olympia Reader
- The World Anthology
- Baseball Diamonds
- Baseball’s Finest
- Come Out Writing
- Impossible Dreams
- A Commonwealth of Golfers
- Rolling Stone Record Review
- Patriots Day
- Football’s Blackest Hole by Craig Parker
- The Regulation of Boxing by Robert Rodriguez
Broadcast careerBeginning in the mid-1980s, Kimball served as a regular co-host for several sports talk radio programs in the Boston area, as a television analyst for boxing broadcasts on the Fox SportsNet and Comcast networks, and as a panelist for several PBS programs produced by WGBH-TV. He appeared (as a boxing writer covering a fight between Woody Harrelson and Antonio Banderas) in Ron Shelton’s 1999 film “Play it to the Bone.”
FamilyIn a ceremony officiated by former heavyweight champion George Foreman, Kimball married New York psychiatrist Marge Marash in 2004. The couple lived in New York City. He had two children, Darcy Maeve Kimball of Denver, Colorado and George E. Kimball IV of Brooklyn, New York, stepsons Kim, Chris, and Jeremy Seeger, and four grandchildren.
Kimball was diagnosed with cancer in 2005, and died from the disease in 2011 at age 67.
Editorial ReviewsProduct Description
Roberto Duran, Marvelous Marvin Hagler, Sugar Ray Leonard, and Thomas "Hit Man" Hearns all formed the pantheon of boxing greats during the late 1970s and early 1980s—before the pay-per-view model, when prize fights were telecast on network television and still captured the nation's attention. Championship bouts during this era were replete with revenge and fury, often pitting one of these storied fighters against another. From training camps to locker rooms, author George Kimball was there to cover every body shot, uppercut, and TKO. Inside stories full of drama, sacrifice, fear, and pain make up this treasury of boxing tales brought to life by one of the sport's greatest writers.
About the Author
George Kimball spent 25 years as a sports columnist for the Boston Herald and in 1986 received the Nat Fleischer Award for Excellence in Boxing Journalism. He has covered more than 350 title bouts, and is the author of Only Skin Deep and Sunday's Fools. He lives in New York City.
RE: NAT FLEISCHER AWARD:
Any reference to the original GRIST would be incomplete if there were no indication of the contribution made by co-editors George Kimball and Charlie Plymell. For many issues they were, in fact, the editors, while I acted as publisher (from the thin bankroll of the Abington Book Shop which was too soon exhausted). They sought out authors, gathered material, traveled, wrote letters, made phone calls, cajoled subscribers, designed, laid out, typed, printed, collated, stapled, stamped and delivered. (John Fowler)