The X Factor by George Plimpton
A Quest for Excellence

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The well-known sports writer describes his search for that one quality--which he calls the X Factor--that all winners--in sports and other pursuits--seem to possess, taking readers from locker rooms to boardrooms in his quest for excellence.

About George Plimpton

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George Ames Plimpton was born March 18, 1927. He was educated first at Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire, and then spent four years at Harvard majoring in English and editing the Harvard Lampoon, followed by two at King's College, Cambridge. Before he left for Cambridge, he served as a tank driver in Italy for the U.S. Army from 1945 through 1948. After graduation, at about 27 years of age, Plimpton went with his friends to Paris. There they founded the Paris Review in 1953 and published poetry and short story writers and did interviews. In the '50s, Plimpton and staff came to New York, where they kept the Review going for half a century. The Review has published over 150 issues. Plimpton also served as a volunteer for Robert Kennedy's 1968 presidential run and was walking in front of him as the candidate was assassinated in the kitchen of a Los Angeles hotel. Plimpton was known as a "participatory journalist". In order to research his books and articles, he quarterbacked in a pre-season NFL game, pitched to several all-stars (retiring Willie Mays and Richie Ashburn) in an exhibition prior to Baseball's 1959 All-Star game, performed as a trapeze artist for the Clyde Beatty-Cole Brothers Circus, and fought boxers Archie Moore and Sugar Ray Robinson. Plimpton was alson known by the nickname the Prince of Cameos for the amount of work he did in films, playing small parts and screenwriting. He was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2002. Within a month of the academy induction, the French made him a Chevalier, the Legion of Honor's highest rank. The Guild, an arts organization based on Long Island, gave him a lifetime achievement award. Plimpton was also a member of PEN; the Pyrotechnics Guild International; the National Football League Alumni Association; and the Mayflower Descendants Society. In 2003, Plimpton decided to write his memoirs, signing a $750,000 deal with Little, Brown and Co. Before he could finish, George Plimpton died, on September 26, 2003 of natural causes at the age of 76.
Published March 1, 1995 by W W Norton & Co Inc. 176 pages
Genres: Business & Economics, Health, Fitness & Dieting, Self Help, Sports & Outdoors. Non-fiction

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The coaches' pep talks and the country club locker room badinage may or may not aid the hoi polloi aching to enter ``the zone'' where no move is false- -it didn't help the author in his Camp David rematch with President Bush;

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Publishers Weekly

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Plimpton portrays him as a wonderful husband, father and grandfather and an especially considerate individual, and suggests that his defeat in the 1992 presidential election does not diminish Bush as ``an avatar of the X Factor.'' (Mar.)

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