Have you ever wonder what it would be like to be friends with someone famous? Do you ever wish you knew more about a celebrity beyond their public persona? We’ve compiled a list of fascinating biographies that bring insight into the lives of people we’ve come to admire locally, nationally, and globally. Grab your best friend and delve into the lives of these famous friends.
Sparky and me : my friendship with Sparky Anderson and the lessons he shared about baseball and life by Dan Ewald—Sparky Anderson was the legendary manager of the Detroit Tigers from 1979 to 1995. In 1979, Sparky met Dan Ewald and a life-long friendship was established. From the front row at the ball park, Ewald was able to watch one of baseball’s most memorable managers bring his passion and knowledge of the game. While Ewald learned about the intricacies of the sport, Sparky taught him the “unwritten rules” of life, which he took to heart.
Elvis: my best man : a memoir : radio days, rock ‘n’ roll nights, and my lifelong friendship with Elvis Presley by George Klein with Chuck Crisafulli—In eighth grade, George Klein became friends with the new kid in school with a guitar. When George heard him sing, he knew his new friend was someone extraordinary. Travel back to the early days of rock ‘n’roll with the King and one of his best friends Follow the whirlwind that shot Elvis to the height of fame. This heart-felt and entertaining homage to his friend takes you behind the lights and gives a glimpse of Elvis Presley beyond his stage persona.
As always, Julia : the letters of Julia Child and Avis DeVoto : food, friendship, and the making of a masterpiece selected and edited by Joan Reardon—Julia Child was one of the original culinary personality. In this collection of over 200 letters between Julia and her “pen pal” and literary mentor, Avis DeVoto, we get a unique glimpse into the deepest thoughts and feelings of America’s favorite chef. Not only do we experience the growth of a life-long friendship, but the burgeoning of her most influential cookbook.
White heat: the friendship of Emily Dickinson and Thomas Wentworth Higginson by Brenda Wineapple—Emily Dickinson was a reclusive poet whose work was not discovered until after her death. Thomas Wentworth Higginson was the abolitionist who commanded the first unit of African American soldiers in the Civil War. Dickinson sent Higginson four poems, which launched a friendship and an intense correspondence between the two, covering art, politics, and everything in-between. After her death, Higginson worked to publish Emily’s collection of poems, which made her one of the most influential poets of the 20th century.
Mrs. Lincoln and Mrs. Keckly : the remarkable story of the friendship between a first lady and a former slave by Jennifer Fleischner—Elizabeth Keckly was Mary Todd Lincoln’s dressmaker and confident during her time in the White House and early years of widowhood. Keckley bought her freedom in 1855 and settled in Washington DC. She quickly created a name for herself as a dressmaker in high society, attracting the attention of the first lady, who often felt overwhelmed by the social elite. As Abraham Lincoln tried to hold the country together, Mary turned to her seamstress for companionship and advice, building a lasting friendship during a turbulent time.
I loved Lucy : my friendship with Lucille Ball by Lee Tannen—Although they met when they were children, Lucy and Lee’s friendship didn’t blossom until twenty-five years later during the last decade of Lucy’s life. Lee has written a tribute of the “lost Lucy years,” as Ball receded from the stage into her personal life. This book gives an honest and insightful portrayal of the final years of Lucy’s life, from quiet moments at home to traveling the world.
Mandela : my prisoner, my friend by Christo Brand, with Barbara Jones— When he enlisted in the army at 18 years old, Brand was confused and saddened by the realities of South African apartheid. He opted to work as a prison guard instead of facing the dangerous life of a policeman or solider. By chance, he was given charge of South Africa’s most famous prisoner: Nelson Mandela. For over a decade, Brand watched Mandela face his injustices with dignity and hope. Eventually, the unlikely pair became close friends and, at times, accomplices. The two created a bond that would endure until Mandela’s death.
The extraordinary Mrs. R: a friend remembers Eleanor Roosevelt William Turner Levy and Cynthia Eagle Russett—William Turner Levy was close friends with one of the most influential and admired women of the 20th century. Levy gives an intimate view of the former first lady and how she viewed the world. Russett brings a historical perspective to Roosevelt’s political and social accomplishments. Filled with intimate and fascinating anecdotes, the book gives a glimpse into the extraordinary life of the woman behind the public persona.