Larger Than Life
By Robert Cherry, Foreword by Jerry West


432 Pages, 6 x 9

Formats: Trade Paper, EPUB, PDF, Mobipocket

Trade Paper, $19.95 (US $19.95) (CA $25.95)

ISBN 9781572439153

Rights: WOR

Triumph Books (Sep 2004)


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A capturing of basketball legend Wilt Chamberlain's personality and thoughts—known by relatively few people other than family and close friends—is made available to all in this intimate biography. The author, a native of Philadelphia and an alumnus of Chamberlain's alma mater, spent four years researching and interviewing the most important people in Wilt's life to produce these results.


"As a Philadelphia sportswriter who has marveled at the Dipper and his movie-script life in and out of basketball for 40-plus years, I finally found the absolute definitive Chamberlain biography that perhaps Wilt could not have done better, were he still with us. Like Wilt, this is the greatest. Educational, informative, anecdotal, respectful, fun, and well done."  —Kevin Mulligan, Philadelphia Daily News

"I'm not sure even [Robert Cherry] realizes exactly how superb a job he did at capturing the greatest athlete—and my favorite athlete—of the past half-century. Cherry got access to all of the most important people in Wilt Chamberlain's life, and he recounted the incredible accomplishments of the player and also the tortured psyche of the man. Cherry sugarcoats nothing, and he explores every facet of Wilt's life, including a whole chapter on the 20,000 women Wilt supposedly slept with and the never-before-told final days of Chamberlain's life. This book has my highest recommendation."  —Angelo Cataldi, host, The Morning Show, 610 WIP

"Don't bother looking for a better treatise about the complexities, mysteries, and caprices of Wilt Chamberlain than a new book by Robert Cherry. You won't find one, now or ever. Cherry's . . . research, extensive coverage, clear and concise narrative, and obvious devotion to a labor of love will astound you. At least it did me, and I thought I knew a lot about the Big Dipper."  —Bill Mayer, Lawrence Journal-World

Author Biography

Robert Cherry is a journalist and a former Peace Corps volunteer in the West African bush. He has been a general assignment reporter or editor for four newspapers, including the Arizona Republic, and his freelance work has appeared in the New York Times and the Jerusalem Post, among other publications. He played varsity basketball at Wilt Chamberlain's alma mater, Overbrook High School. Jerry West is a former Los Angeles Laker who led the team to nine NBA Finals and the 1972 championship. He is a former Lakers coach and general manager and serves as the president of basketball operations for the Memphis Grizzlies.

Press Releases

Wilt Chamberlain holds a special place among athletic legends. The feats and controversies that surrounded
him made him unique, making him simultaneously familiar and mysterious to teammates, friends and fans.

Wilt was such an international star that millions of fans think they know everything about him by reciting the famous (and infamous) numbers associated with the former NBA great: the 100-point game, the 50-point average and the 20,000 women.

But none of the transcendent athletes of the 20th century is more enigmatic and less known to the public than the former L.A. Laker/San Francisco Warrior/Philadelphia Warrior & 76er/Harlem Globetrotter/Kansas Jayhawk.

Wilt: Larger Than Life by Robert Allen Cherry is so well-researched and detailed that sports broadcasting icon Dick Schaap called it \"the definitive biography\" about Chamberlain\'s life.

Everyone knows Wilt was a physical marvel who was proud of his body and his athletic (and sexual) feats. Few athletes could command the stage with a more dominating presence. But Wilt pulls the curtain back on the private Chamberlain, revealing such details as:

• Why Wilt didn\'t date much in high school
• Why he was proud of \"whipping [actress Lucille Ball\'s] ass\"
• Why one of his teammates thought he had the temperament of an artist
• What happened to the unfortunate NBA player who pushed Wilt too far
• Why rubber bands may have spawned the Big Dipper\'s famous 100-point game
• How he cheated in most games-but never basketball
• Why he never signed the contract to fight Muhammad Ali
• Why Wilt never married, and his sad final months

Chamberlain was many things fans never knew about: an aspiring linguist, amateur astronomer, philanthropist, avid traveler, chef, extravagant host, demanding friend and financial contributor to many sports struggling for recognition.

The author devoted almost five years to researching and writing Wilt. All that time and effort has produced the most thorough and revealing biography ever written about one of the most unforgettable athletes ever.

About the Author
Robert Cherry became a journalist after teaching English as a Peace Corps volunteer in the West African bush. He has been a general assignment reporter or editor for four newspapers, including The Arizona Republic, and his freelance work has appeared in The New York Times and The Jerusalem Post, among other publications. He played varsity basketball at Wilt\'s alma mater, Overbrook High School. This is his first book.