Fallen Stars

Five American Athletes Who Died in Military Service

978-1-62349-560-2 Cloth
6 x 9. 268 pp. 18 b&w photos. Index.
Pub Date: 11/06/2017
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In the spring of 2002, motivated by the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, National Football League stalwart Patrick Daniel Tillman turned down a multimillion-dollar contract to join the US Army. Two years later, he died while serving his country in the mountains of Afghanistan. In the process, he became an American icon.

Inspired by Pat Tillman’s story, Fallen Stars captures the lives and times of Tillman (1976–2004) and four other war-hero American athletes: Hamilton “Ham” Fish (1873–98), Hobart “Hobey” Baker (1892–1918), Nile Kinnick (1918–43), and James Robert "Bob" Kalsu (1945–70), all of whom died while serving in the US military.

Why a focus on fallen war-hero athletes, and why these five? Because here we have over a century’s worth of men who faced the fears and uncertainties that come with life and made the ultimate sacrifice. Their stories give us a kaleidoscopic picture of America over the course of more than one hundred years, and through them we can explore the wars America has participated in, the values that Americans have celebrated, and what it has meant, over time, to be an American hero.

Swaim-Paup-Foran Spirit of Sport Series, sponsored by James C. ’74 & Debra Parchman Swaim, Nancy & T. Edgar Paup ’74, & Joseph Wm. & Nancy Foran

Published by Texas A&M University Press