If the Summer Olympics of 1984 or the yearly Super Bowl extravaganzas are any indication, Americans continue to be sports-obsessed. It has become increasingly important that we reflect about professional athletes and the public's perception of their role in society. I would like to take a subjective, biographical look at four dominant athletes who influenced American civilization during our two Golden Ages of Sport, namely, the 1920s and the late 1960s-1970s.

Note on the Author

Philip T Silvia, professor of history, teaches a Sport in American Life course.