The One and Only: Chic Harley - America's Great Athlete

The One And Only, is the story of Chic Harley, a quiet, bashful, unassuming man whose heroics during the early years of the 20th century transformed both college and professional football and set the stage for Ohio State’s propulsion into high stakes athletics and academics. The 314-page full length biography, authored by Chic Harley's great nephew Todd Wessell, walks the reader through a three-century journey describing how the Harley family emigrated from Ireland to Virginia, to Ohio and finally to Chicago. Woven within the book's pages are never-before-seen family photos, and personal accounts of Chic by his teammates, coaches, opponents, admirers and family members---all of whom knew him well and some of whom are still alive today. The story delves into his nearly lifelong struggle with mental illness, his close relationship with his youngest sister Ruth, his abbreviated career as owner and player with the Decatur Staleys (now named the Chicago Bears), and his triumphant return to the scene of his amazing college sports career, Columbus. The One And Only ends by suggesting the need for a fitting tribute to Chic Harley for the many contributions he made to Ohio State and professional football, for his courage, and for the many pleasures he provided those who knew and loved him. Editorial Review: Chic Harley - America's Great Athlete "On Thanksgiving Day, 1973, Charles William Harley, then seventy-nine years old, played his last football game... So begins Chapter 1 of The One and Only, the biography of Chic Harley written by his great nephew Todd Wessell. My copy recently arrived. I opened it to that sentence and four chapters later put it down. An engrossing read, it traces Chic's life beginning with the immigration of his ancestors to this country and ending the day he was laid to rest just northwest of the stadium he helped build. For Buckeyes, this story is obviously our heritage, our football roots. More than football though, this book is a work of history. It is an American Era, it is the coming of age of a national sport, and the role Chic Harley played in that. It is how schizophrenia changed everything in the life of this great athlete. Most importantly, it is the family that loved him and their tireless work to keep the memory alive. As I gaze up at my Ohio State bookshelf, I count more than 20 books. All are good in their own way, but several stand out as timeless and classics. Jack Park's Ohio State Football Encyclopedia, Alan Natali's Woody's Boys, John Lombardo's A Fire to Win (life and times of Woody Hayes), Triumph, Jeremy Schaap's story of Jesse Owens and the '36 Olympics, and of course Jesse Owens - An American Life, William Baker's biography of Jesse. I expect father time will judge this book worthy to stand with those works. Be a part of something great. Steve Davis, author, Columbus, Ohio

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