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Marvin Gilmore: Crusader for Freedom by Paul Katzeff

Marvin Gilmore: Crusader for Freedom

by Paul Katzeff

422 pages
Biography of Marvin Gilmore, grandson of slaves and WWII hero.

Paperback $19.95   + $8.33 shipping & handling (USA)
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Category: Biography
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About the Book
This is the action-filled biography of Marvin E. Gilmore, Jr., an African-American musician-turned-businessman, the grandson of slaves, who rose from boyhood poverty to achieve the American dream by succeeding in business. Along the way, he made it a point to help others advance too.

He became a decorated American war hero, participating in the D-Day landings in Normandy and fighting his way across Europe in the U.S. Army. To stay alive he had to fight racists in his own Army as well as the Germany army. This book’s combat descriptions are as sharp as a bayonet. In addition, the book vividly shows what it was like to be a black G.I. in the U.S. armed forces, which were still officially segregated. For his perseverance against racism while fighting to free Europe from the Nazis, Gilmore received the Legion of Honor award from France with the highest distinction.

Those Army years also forged the key theme of his life: Gilmore always helps others, never backing down from challenges, racial or otherwise.

He's been active in the civil rights movement since the war. A typical episode described in this biography: His harrowing journey with a professional basketball superstar friend to battle armed segregationists in Jackson, Miss., in the 1960s. Mississippi secret police spied on the men, and both barely made it home alive.

On another occasion he sweet-talked his way into the dressing room of show biz star Sammy Davis, Jr. to recruit him for a civil rights fundraiser for the NAACP.

Gilmore is still at it today. He runs several private businesses, until recently including the Western Front, a highly popular reggae bar in Cambridge. He’s also been the head of the Community Development Corp. of Boston, which brings jobs and renewal to Boston’s African-American community. He has played a key role in helping Boston grow beyond its racial divisions. But Gilmore’s story is not about racial resentment. Its core message is about fighting for justice and about building a better America.

 

 

About the Author
Paul Katzeff is a veteran, award-winning journalist and book author. Now covering business, finance and the markets for a major national daily newspaper, he has written for newspapers, magazines, and online for decades. He first wrote about Marvin E. Gilmore, Jr. in a magazine profile in the 1980s.

 

 

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