Paterno biography hits bookshelves - abc27 WHTM

Paterno biography hits bookshelves

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The life of a blue-and-white legend is now in black-and-white. "Paterno," the long-awaited biography by hall-of-fame sportswriter Joe Posnanski, hit bookshelves Tuesday.

One of the last public image of Joe Paterno was on a chilly November night when he graced fans and media with his presence outside his home with his wife, Sue, hugging his arm - just moments after he received the phone call telling him he was no longer the Penn State football coach.

"Thanks," Paterno screamed, "and pray for those victims."

Paterno shuffled back into his Happy Valley home a saddened man. That image was one of the last times the public saw Paterno before he died in January from lung cancer.

However, on Tuesday, that indescribable voice was reborn once again in Posnanski's biography.

Critics and diehard fans such as Kathy Weidner put copies copy on hold before the book's release. By lunchtime, Weidner scurried over to Barnes & Noble in Camp Hill, eager to lose herself in the pages.

"I've been following the scandal," Weidner said. "I just went through all the newspaper articles that I have - tear up at times. Sad."

Eighty-five years of Paterno's life are compiled into 360 pages. Posnanski's book was reviewed nationwide. The New York Times called his work "breezy and largely sympathetic." Other national reviews touted the way Posnanski chronicled the rise and fall of the football coaching legend.

Little did Posnanski know that when he gained unlimited access to Paterno's life in late 2010 that he would run into a firestorm months later, when long-time assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky was arrested on child molestation charges.

Posnanski was there until the day Paterno died. For better or worse, people are anxious to read his tale cover-to-cover.

"It's going to make it re-hash [those memories], I'm sure, but I'm ready for it," Weidner said.

Posnanski's book ranked in the top 20 on Amazon.com's best-seller list. It was also number one in several categories, including sports, history, and biography.

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