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After two years of research, the biography of Augustus Hornsby is finished!


Gus Hornsby spread the game of football like an evangelist throughout the world in the 1870s and helped establish American football in the country’s heartland. A groundbreaking journalist, inventor, explorer, and entrepreneur, Hornsby seemed destined for greatness. However, his arrogance, greed, and an intractable gambling addiction drove him to become a criminal and left him in obscurity. In prison, this public ruin ultimately led to his greatest accomplishment: personal redemption.

Hornsby’s spectacular rise and fall intersected, surprisingly, with towering influencers of this period, including the women and men who would create the “first-wave” feminist movement in the United States. This book explores their unexpected connections and interweaves their stories—along with details of the first American football game in the Midwest, a match at Northwestern University—to reveal elements of a pivotal moment in American history, both in feminism and sports.

This is not just a story about a person navigating nineteenth-century America; it is a story of  America, from the nineteenth century to today—brash, imaginative, and possessing seemingly unlimited resources and creativity, but overly self-assured and wildly reckless.





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