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January 14 , 2009

Ellison "Tarzan" Brown

The Narragansett Indian Who Twice Won the Boston Marathon


Ellison "Tarzan" Brown was one of America's premier marathon runners during the 1930s and 1940s. This volume tells the story of his life from the beginning of his budding career in the early 1930s through his untimely death in 1975. With his unorthodox approach to the sport and his spectacular finishes, Tarzan Brown quickly became something of a legend in racing. Inevitably, he became the subject of stories that were not always entirely factual – and sometimes not very flattering. This biography seeks to present an accurate, unbiased account of Brown's life. The reminiscences of his close friends, family and even his rivals paint a vivid picture of the man and his career. The book covers in considerable depth events such as Brown's trip to the 1936 Olympic Games in Nazi Germany and his role in the naming of the infamous Heartbreak Hill on the course of the Boston Marathon. Completing the picture is a look at the more personal aspects of Brown's life, such as his struggle to support his young family, and an examination of his Narragansett Indian heritage. The final chapter discusses the misconceptions surrounding Brown's accidental death outside a bar in 1975.

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