For more than a century, professional wrestling has cultivated some of the most eccentric and compelling personalities. As the embodiment of flamboyance and intensity, the “Nature Boy” Ric Flair stood at wrestling’s apex for decades, cementing his place as a once-in-a-lifetime athlete and performer. When he was in the ring, fans knew they were witnessing the very best, and he not only became a multi-time world heavyweight champion in the NWA, WCW, and the WWE, but his status as a generational great has been confirmed with inductions into numerous Halls of Fame.
The Last Real World Champion: The Legacy of “Nature Boy” Ric Flair is a gripping portrait of a wrestling legend. This unflinching biography explores the successes, struggles, and controversy of Flair’s life in wrestling, pulling no punches in sharing the truth behind his in-ring achievements and out-of-the-ring hardships. Today, Flair is celebrated for his pioneering career and as an iconic figure in the realm of mainstream sports entertainment. Celebrated wrestling historian Tim Hornbaker tells Flair’s complete story, with meticulous attention to detail and exhaustive research, creating a must-read for fans of wrestling, sports, and popular culture.
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Tim Hornbaker is the author of nine nonfiction books, including Death of the Territories: Expansion, Betrayal and the War that Changed Pro Wrestling Forever and National Wrestling Alliance: The Untold Story of the Monopoly that Strangled Pro Wrestling. He lives in Tamarac, Florida, with his wife, Jodi.
Published: September 2023
Dimensions: 6 x 9 in.
“Whether you were a fan in the late 1970's or the mid 2000's, you can have a blast on this nostalgia trip. There is something to love for most in a book addressing the public face of the last real world champion.” — Lion Cub Job Search blog
“The Last Real World Champion is an enjoyable read and Tim Hornbaker’s research, as usual, is meticulous. Always learn a great deal from his books!”— Gary Juster, veteran promoter (AWA, NWA, WCW, ROH, MLW)
“Hornbaker has created a book that covers Flair's entire career and legacy. I would absolutely recommend it to anyone who has followed Ric Flair's wrestling career whether that be passively or as intently as I have done in all of the years I've been a fan of this form of entertainment.” — equinoxx.info
“The Last Real World Champion serves as a critical companion to Flair’s own books. It goes a long way to completing the picture of Flair’s life and career, and places him in time as an essential figure in the arc of pro wrestling’s ongoing evolution.” — Slam Wrestling
“Every new book by Tim Hornbaker is an invitation to a masterclass on the subject of his latest work. Nowhere is that more evident than in The Last Real World Champion: The Legacy of “Nature Boy” Ric Flair. Flair’s life is an amazing saga distinguished by challenges, twists, and an uncompromising commitment to excellence — and it’s the perfect subject for an author who takes no shortcuts in providing an unbiased and compelling account of the life of a first-rate athlete and entertainer that many fans (and others) will come to respect more deeply as a result of this book.” — Steven Verrier, wrestling historian and author of the acclaimed biographies of Gene Kiniski and George Gordienko
“Hornbaker is a superb storyteller and scholar whose contribution to wrestling history is second to none. The Last Real World Champion is a testament to the life of a legendary athlete; required reading for anyone with a thirst for knowledge about professional wrestling history and one of its most monumental figures; and, in every regard, the latest in a line of winners by Tim Hornbaker.” — Steven Verrier, wrestling historian and author of the acclaimed biographies of Gene Kiniski and George Gordienko
“Some of the hallmarks of Tim Hornbaker’s excellent books on pro wrestling are his painstaking research, so that even the most jaded wrestling historian can learn new facts; his detailed but chronological narrative, so you can live the subject in what seems like real time; and his attention to telling the positives and negatives of an individual without leading the reader, letting them make their own judgments. Tim’s crowning achievement may be The Last Real World Champion. Ric Flair, whose life and career could fill a 10-volume series, is a daunting subject, but Tim tells you everything you need to know, lots of things you should know, and a few things nobody has known — until now — about the life and times of the man who many believe is the greatest pro wrestler of modern times. Learn to read it, cause it’s the best book goin’ today! WHOOOOOO!!” — Jim Cornette