This image is the cover for the book Tough Luck

Tough Luck

“Rosen artfully blends fascinating tales of the rise of the National Football League with the bloody demise of the mob.” —Bill Geist, New York Times–bestselling author

In 1935, as eighteen-year-old Sid Luckman made headlines across New York City for his high school football exploits at Erasmus Hall High School in Brooklyn, his father, Meyer Luckman, was making headlines for the gangland murder of his own brother-in-law. Amazingly, when Sid became a star at Columbia and a Hall of Fame NFL quarterback in Chicago, all of it while Meyer Luckman served twenty-years-to-life in Sing Sing Prison, the connection between sports celebrity son and mobster father was studiously ignored by the press and ultimately overlooked for eight decades.

Tough Luck traces two simultaneous historical developments through a single immigrant family in Depression-era New York: the rise of the National Football League led by the dynastic Chicago Bears and the demise—triggered by Meyer Luckman’s crime and initial coverup—of the Brooklyn labor rackets and Louis Lepke’s infamous organization Murder, Inc. Filled with colorful characters, it memorably evokes an era of vicious Brooklyn mobsters and undefeated Monsters of the Midway, a time when the media kept their mouths shut and the soft-spoken son of a murderer could become a beloved legend with a hidden past.

“Remarkable . . . Artfully organized and deeply researched . . . This [secret] is finally being told, respectfully and stylishly.” —Chicago Tribune

“This is a great and beautifully written untold story.” —Gay Talese, New York Times–bestselling author

“A fascinating story of the NFL, its growth, and one of its star players. And it is more than just a sports biography.” —Illinois Times

R. D. Rosen

<p>R. D. Rosen has written or coauthored numerous books spanning different genres—from an Edgar Award-winning mystery novel to narrative nonfiction, including <em>Psychobabble</em> (a word he coined in 1975) and <em>A Buffalo in the House</em>. He has appeared as a humorist and satirist on PBS, HBO, and NPR's <em>All Things Considered</em>.</p>

Grove Atlantic