An Irish working-class hero of Pittsburgh, Billy Conn captured the hearts of his contemporaries through his ebullient personality, stellar boxing record, and good looks. A light-heavyweight boxing champion, Conn had defeated nine current or former champions in three weight divisions by the time he was twenty one. Best remembered for his sensational near-defeat of heavyweight champion Joe Louis in 1941, Conn is still regarded as one of the greatest fighters of all time. Inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1965, Billy Conn was one of the most popular athletes of his era. \u201cThe Pittsburgh Kid\u201d captured the public\u2019s imagination with his boxing, Hollywood, and army careers, which Andrew O\u2019Toole chronicles by drawing from fascinating interviews with Conn\u2019s family, newspaper accounts, and Billy\u2019s personal scrapbooks. Presenting an intimate look inside the champion\u2019s relationship with his girlfriend, manager, and rivals, O\u2019Toole captures the personal life of a public icon and the pageantry of sports during the 1930s and \u201840s.
Andrew O'Toole is a freelance writer who is the author of several books, including Smiling Irish Eyes: Art Rooney and the Pittsburgh Steelers.