Happy New Year!
In this first show of 2007 you’ll hear the first part of a conversation I recently had with Rosey Grier.
For those of you who aren?t familiar with who this great man is, let me just say that you are in for a treat. From 1963 to 1966, Rosey was part of what Dick Butkus called “the most dominant line in football history.” The line was called the L.A. Rams Fearsome Foursome. You?ve heard of sacking the quarterback? That term was coined during the reign of the Fearsome Foursome, by one of its members, Deacon Jones. He said, “You know, you sack a city, you devastate it.” Rosey was a formidable presence on the football field, at 6?5? and over 300 pounds.
We?re going to hear more about that as the conversation unfolds, but there is so much more to Rosey?s life than football.
According to Wikipedia, Grier served as a bodyguard for his friend, U.S. Senator and presidential candidate Robert Kennedy, but was guarding Ethel Kennedy, the Senator’s wife, the night that Kennedy was assassinated in Los Angeles in 1968. Grier and Olympic gold medalist Rafer Johnson heard shots fired ahead of them. As Johnson rushed forward and grabbed the gun of the assassin, Grier followed suit, jumped on the pile, and put his hand over Johnson’s who had already gained control of the weapon.
I first met Rosey Grier in 1986 when I was managing some Christian bookstores. His autobiography, called ?The Gentle Giant? had just been released, along with an album, entitled ?Committed?. As part of a promotional tour, the publishers brought Rosey to a couple of the stores I managed because they were some of the biggest stores in southern California.
Coming from very humble beginnings, Rosey Grier has been the friend of Presidents, gang members, the Queen of England and a podcaster in Riverside, California. I must say that of the many people that I have interviewed for this show, no one has been more gracious and generous than Rosey Grier. We laughed together, and I cried as he shared part of his story with me in his office in Santa Monica, CA.
From the moment the Lovely Lady LeeAnn and I walked in, Rosey Grier made us feel welcome and at ease. He began telling stories even before I started recording, so we are going to pick up the conversation as he was telling us how and why his political affiliation changed?