The legendary Billy Cannon, to date the only LSU football player to win the coveted Heisman Trophy, will be the featured guest Tuesday evening, Nov. 17, at the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and Northwest Louisiana History Museum for a book signing and question and answer session open free of charge.
LSU Press officials said the Nov. 17 appearance at the Hall of Fame museum is the only public book signing to be attended by Dr. Cannon north of Baton Rouge in 2015.
Dr. Cannon and biographer Charles de Gravelle will autograph copies of the acclaimed, recently-released book “Billy Cannon: A Long, Long Run” produced by the LSU Press. The book will be on sale at the event for $30.
The event runs from 5-7 p.m., with a 30-minute break at 6 p.m. for a question and answer session in the Atmos Energy Gallery of the museum. Admission to the museum, normally $5 for adults, will be free beginning at 4 p.m.
The museum is located at 800 Front Street, at the north traffic circle in historic downtown Natchitoches, recently chosen as the country’s “Best Small Town in the South” by USAToday.com voters. Free parking is available on Front Street, the riverfront or one block to the rear of the museum at the Natchitoches Events Center (750 Second Street).
Dr. Cannon’s appearance is hosted by the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Foundation, the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and Northwest Louisiana History Museum and the LSU Press. Patrons are asked not to bring additional items to be autographed.
Online advance purchases are available at LaSportsHall.com. Those unable to attend the book signing who would like to have Dr. Cannon inscribe a personal message with those copies shipped by mail, should visit the LaSportsHall.com website. The Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Foundation will ensure online book orders are inscribed and promptly mailed.
A year before he won the Heisman Trophy, Cannon led the Tigers to a national championship in 1958, igniting unprecedented passion for LSU and the Tiger football program that has increased through the years. But like many stories of lionized athletes who rise to the status of legend, there was a fall—and in this instance, also redemption. For the first time, deGravelles reveals in full the thrilling highs and unexpected lows of Cannon’s life, in “Billy Cannon: A Long, Long Run.”
Through conversations with Cannon, deGravelles follows the athlete-turned-reformer from his boyhood in a working-class Baton Rouge neighborhood to his sudden rush of fame as the leading high school running back in the country. Personal and previously unpublished stories about Cannon’s glory days at LSU and his stellar but controversial career in the pros, as well as details of his indictment for counterfeiting and his post-release work as staff dentist at Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola, unfold in a riveting biography characterized by uncanny success, deep internal struggles, and a champion’s spirit that pushed through it all.
The author, deGravelles, spent over 25 years ministering to the inmates at Angola, including the men on death row. A deacon and teacher living in Baton Rouge, deGravelles has published in literary journals and anthologies nationwide.
For more information about the event and the book, contact:
Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Foundation
Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and Northwest Louisiana History Museum