Hugh “Hughie” McLoon could only have happened in America. He was a diminutive hunchbacked Philadelphian born at the start of the twentieth-century. Plucky and loveable, he carved out a Runyonesque role for himself in the city, working as a mascot for the Philadelphia Athletics baseball team, whose hitters rubbed his hunchback for good luck before heading to the plate. He was also a boxing manager, as a speakeasy owner, and a police informer until September 1928 when it all ended in a spray of bullets. The Short Life of Hughie McLoon is a rags-to-riches adventure story, a social comedy, and a thoroughly American drama about dreaming big and taking what isn’t given to you. The accomplished journalist and author Allen Abel tells Hughie’s story for the first time in a crisp and thoroughly-researched narrative that brings Hughie and his times back to uproarious, irrepressible life.
Allen Abel has been writing for a living since the age of Linotype machines and molten lead. Now he has a 11-year-old daughter with her own iPhone. He's an accomplished journalist and regular contributor to Maclean's.