Jack Doyle

The Gorgeous Gael

By: Michael Taub

Publication Date: 2012

(8 customer reviews)


Jack Doyle: The Gorgeous Gael by Michael Taub


Lilliput Press is delighted to announce the reprint of Jack Doyle: The Gorgeous Gael by Michael Taub in honour of the centenary of his birth.

Jack Doyle was a 6ft 5in Irishman with a giant appetite for life. In 1933 he drew 90,000 to London’s White City to see him fight and was making £600 (GBP) a week on stage as a singer. He was 19. By the age of 30 he had earned and squandered a £250,000 fortune (worth millions today). His motto was, ‘A generous man never went to hell,’ and he lived his life like a hellraiser. In his heyday as a heavyweight boxer, singer and playboy, his celebrity rivalled the Prince of Wales, and he and his wife – the beautiful Mexican film star and singer Movita, who later married Marlon Brando – were as popular in the thirties and forties as Olivier and Leigh or Burton and Taylor.

This remarkable biography rescues a glittering period of social and boxing history from obscurity and restores Jack and Movita to their rightful place in the showbiz and sporting pantheon. Jack’s ring presence and personality reached back to the days of the Regency Buck and his friendships with the Royal Family, his fist-fight with Clark Gable, his life as a film star and gigolo, his throwing of a fight by knocking himself out, and his extraordinary post-war career as an all-in wrestler, are the stuff of legend confirmed here by seven years’ exhaustive research, during which Taub tracked down and interviewed the leading player’s in Jack’s life.

The book was released in autumn 2007 in conjunction with the screening of the RTE documentary “Jack Doyle: A Legend Lost”, for which Michael Taub acted as consultant and in which he appears throughout.

‘This book was unputdownable for me and has an incredible story of human character with all its highs and lows, rags, riches, more rags. I had always heard the name Jack Doyle and wanted to find out more about the man and the stories. This book for me satisfied that curiosity and was a very enjoyable read.’ Customer review

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8 reviews for Jack Doyle

  1. Lilliput Press

    “Jack Doyle was the quintessential rags to riches hero of Ireland’s dirty thirties. Larger than life in both physical size and heart he hammered his way to the top of his game becoming not only the darling of a demoralized people but to the top layer of society’s cream on two continents as well.

    Before he was through he’d held the world in the palm of his hand, married two Hollywood actresses; bedded prostitutes, showgirls, heiresses and women who thought they could save him from himself; had a careers in both acting and as a gifted Irish tenor. But he forgot that when you hold the dream in the palm of your hand, you have to take care not to make a fist.

    Despite his success he’d always said that he’d come from nothing and he’d no doubt go back to nothing. And he was right. He also believed the Irish saying that God never sent a generous man to hell. When you read the last page after having been amused, infactuated, frustrated and angry with him, you’ll find yourself praying he was right about that too.” LINDA EWART

  2. Lilliput Press

    “I stumbled upon this book while searching for a story of sport from my native country. Like most of my generation l’d never heard of Jack Doyle or of his exploits. This book grabbed my attention from his humble beginnings with more than 1 or 2 God given gifts, through his boxing, singing, acting, his triumphs and fame go his fortune and flaws. I was captivated throughout by the story and entertained by the tales of a man who had it all but lost it through vanity and narcissism but somehow a loveable rouge to the end, even to those he had harmed.”

  3. Lilliput Press

    “Michael Taub, did a first class job of work in writing about Jack Doyle. Jack Doyle came from humble Irish stock. He loved attention and he went to all legths to obtain attention, he loved to sing, when he was boxing at the White City Staduium London. He would sing at the top of his voice from his dressing room out of the little window that opened out onto the street, and the London crowd revelled in listening to him. When he got into the ring he wasen’t always at his best. Like the night he boxed Eddie Phillips, he aimed a wild desperate punch and missed and knocked himself out. He lived the life of Reilley in America with his Lady friend Movita. In the ring he struck disaster again against Buddy Bear, but he kept bouncing back taking on other opponents. He acted in films. He quit boxing and turned to wrestling and enjoyed some success. He could not mantain a balanced life, and he gradually started going down and down loosing all control. Until he finally became a drop out,walking the streets of London bare foot and begging and stealing to exsist. Until he finally died. A benifactor came forward and paid for his body to be transported back to Irland to his birth place. The last mark of respect paid to Jack Doyle was for the Pdddington Porters to stand to attention as his coffin was brought into the platform fot transportation back to Irland. He was a former Guardsman and a former journeymen fighter.” DEREK STILES

  4. Lilliput Press

    “Great book. Very detailed. All you want to know about the Legendary Corkman, Jack Doyle…..” DAMIAN RUGBY

  5. Lilliput Press

    “Fantastic book about a man who had it all going for him but seemed determined to self-destruct.” MICHAEL B NEE

  6. Lilliput Press

    “a great story well told… no papering over the cracks here – very much warts ‘n’ all biography. well done to Mr. Taub.” MARK CONROY

  7. Lilliput Press

    “A fantastic book giving an insight into the life of an amazingly talented man who had a topsy turvey love affair with women,fame and life in general.”

  8. Lilliput Press

    “A truly fascinating insight of this Superstar who is nearly forgotten in Ireland, a blow by blow account of Jack Doyle, superbly researched and written, Jack had it all, wealth women and charisma. This acount of his life takes the reader on a journey from the his poor childhood to the top of the social ladder worlwide and back to the gutters of London. The Gorgeous Gael, Thanks Michael Taub for this Journey.”

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Weight 0.5 kg
Dimensions 135 × 210 mm
Publication Date



Paperback, 370pp