NOTE: No copyright infringement intended.
KING OF THE WORLD
Muhammad Ali and the Rise of an American Hero
By David Remnick
© 1998 David Remnick. All rights reserved.
From Chapter 1
As a kid, growing up in the Bronx, D'Amato starved himself for days, the better to withstand the pain when someone tried to take food from him. He was probably the youngest fatalist in the borough. He used to watch funeral processions outside his building and say, "The sooner death the better." D'Amato was a street kid and a street fighter. One day another kid slammed him in the head with a stick, and he lost the vision in his left eye. D'Amato, however, believed in the regeneration of optic tissue, and throughout his life he made an effort to heal himself, closing his good eye so as to "force" the left eye to see once more. When he became a trainer, D'Amato told his fighters that security, financial and otherwise, would be the death of them. Security dulled the senses, and pleasure -- pleasure was worse. "The more pleasures you get out of living," D'Amato said, "the more fear you have of dying."
NOTE: Posted 8/12/2014 and backdated to 8/24/2000 to mirror my old archives.