NEW YORK -- John Wooden, America's most successful coach who died yesterday at the age of 99, was one of the towering figures in leadership. His standard of success, excellence, and character produced record-setting achievements at UCLA that resulted in ESPN naming him "the Coach of the Century."
His accomplishments off the basketball court were equally impressive, including being awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, America's highest civilian honor. Wooden always considered himself a teacher first and foremost and he became an author because he wanted to continue teaching by sharing his life lessons. He leaves a rich legacy in the many books that capture the philosophy, vision, and integrity that made him a legend.
"John Wooden touched the lives of millions and he was truly one of the rare sports figures whose influence transcended the world of sports," says Philip Ruppel, president of McGraw-Hill Professional. "Coach's books that McGraw-Hill published provide a unique look at the principles, insights, and lessons that guided his life and continue to serve as powerful and inspiring examples to people in all arenas—including business people, teachers, and parents."
Coach Wooden published seven books with McGraw-Hill encompassing several genres including memoir, business, and inspirational: Wooden (1997), My Personal Best (2004), They Call Me Coach (2004), Wooden on Leadership (2005), The Essential Wooden (2007), and Coach Wooden's Leadership Game Plan for Success (2009). Altogether, John Wooden's books sold more than a million copies, hit national best-seller lists, and were embraced by readers of all ages. Up until very recently, Coach Wooden made regular appearances at bookstores where his events drew hundreds of fans who stood in line for hours to meet him.
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Coach Wooden's final book, The Wisdom of Wooden: A Century of Family, Faith, and Friends, a commemorative of his life written with his longtime collaborator Steven Jamison, will be released in early July. Filled with fond personal memories, warm fatherly advice, and beautiful color photographs--some never before seen, it is an unforgettable tribute to a life well lived.