GREAT MEN DIE TWICE: The Selected Works of Mark Kram Edited by Mark Kram, Jr
On a writing staff composed of a galaxy of stars that included Frank Deford, Dan Jenkins and other major talents, Mark Kram would be remembered in his New York Times obituary in June 2002 as one of “the most lyrical writers” to appear in the pages of Sports Illustrated in the 1960s and 1970s. LINK: https://www.nytimes.com/2002/06/15/sports/mark-kram-69-sportswriter-known-for-his-boxing-coverage.html . With the eye of a poet, Kram distinguished himself on the boxing beat at SI, particularly with his coverage of the pitched rivalry between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier. At SI and years later at Esquire and elsewhere, he contributed extensive sharply observed long-form work highlighted by profiles of Negro League baseball legend Cool Papa Bell, soccer star George Best and Olympic hurdler Edwin Moses. Great Men Die Twice selects his best work with a moving introduction by his son, Mark Kram Jr., the PEN/ESPN Award-winning author of Like Any Normal Day.
“Mark Kram’s best pieces can only be described as literature. His elevation of the American vernacular and jaundiced native lyricism combined to produce essays will endure as long as anyone cares to read about sports.” – Thomas McGuane