Long John

Long John
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  • Item #: 9781620063873

The Longest Stride

Under the famed massive Woodruff Tree, the aged John Woodruff tells a lone teen track hopeful his life story in vivid, accurate detail. The “Nazi Games” in 1936 Berlin are remembered for the crushing victories by the black athletes of the United States led by Jesse Owens, challenging Hitler's Aryan race. Also, at these Olympics was a runner that experts say ran the “greatest race of all time.” His winning the first black gold medal in the running knocked Hitler for a loop. 

John Woodruff, the last of the living gold medalists from the 1936 Olympics, was a native of a small Pennsylvania mining town and the grandson of slaves. His friends in this virtually all-white community were all-white. However, he had a rude awakening once venturing out into the segregated world in 1935.

He was nicknamed “Long John” for his tremendous stride--the longest ever recorded. Still, Woodruff was forced by Olympic competition to cut his pace, and from dead last place challenge the leaders way far ahead, all under the baleful gaze of German Chancellor Adolf Hitler.

Woodruff, young, black, inexperienced, and arriving at the University of Pittsburgh with 25 cents in his pocket, had to endure challenge after challenge. Running was only one facet of John Woodruff, who also craved education. Though World War II and the Korean War cut short his stellar athletic career, he continued to battle racism, bigotry, and segregation (for Blacks, Jews, and other minorities), helping others.

A recent double amputee, Woodruff’s constant victories in life while battling adversity, is a profoundly moving story of a man who represents determination and grit…despite all obstacles.

About the Author:

DAVID ORANGE is a veteran stage and film actor with two co-starring roles on the Broadway stage (Torch Song Trilogy, the comedy which won the Tony Award for Best Play and also Knockout, a drama opposite Oscar nominee Danny Aiello.)  David has also appeared in several TV episodic guest star appearances, and endorsed products in over 300 TV commercials. He’s also acted in several films, including the memorable cameo appearance as the Sleepy Klingon in the hit film Star Trek VI.

Orange, the writer, has had several novels published including Mutant Specimen L by Eternal Press, Mine Game by Whiskey Creek Press, and the novella This Cemetery is Mine by Web-E-Books.

Also to the author’s credit are 35 journalism articles about the world of wine and celebrities for Tasted Magazine and Bordeaux New York, as well as two screenplays optioned, the current one being Portal to Paradise by Movie Corp.

David went to high school in Jeannette, Pennsylvania near John Woodruff’s hometown of Connellsville, and played against them in football. The Woodruff Tree in Connellsville Stadium and what it stands for has left an indelible impression on Orange.

David divides his time between Ft. Lauderdale. Fla. and New York City.    www.davidorange.net

by David Orange
Trade Paperback - 6 x 9 x .5
236 Pages
FICTION / African American / Historical
FICTION / Historical / World War II
FICTION / Sports
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Price $19.95
Availability In-Stock

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