Cover image for A forgotten champion : the story of Major Taylor, fastest bicycle racer in the world
A forgotten champion : the story of Major Taylor, fastest bicycle racer in the world
Wilds, Mary, 1960-
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
Greensboro, N.C. : Avisson Press, [2002]

Physical Description:
87 pages : illustrations ; 21 cm.
A biography of Major Taylor, African American bicycle racer, and one of his sport's first American stars.
General Note:
Includes index.
Reading Level:
Ages 12-18.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
GV1051.T3 W55 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



A biography of Major Taylor, champion African American bicycle racer during the early years of the 20th century.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Gr. 5-8. How good was Major Taylor? He won his first gold medal at age 14 in a race that he didn't know he had been signed up for until the last moment. He then went on to become the first U.S.-born black bicyclist to win both a national and a world championship, and to become the first to set an official world's record in his chosen sport. He was adored overseas though he encountered prejudice at home. He died in obscurity in 1932, but in his prime, around the turn of the twentieth century, he was all but unbeatable, made pots of money, married a socialite, and enjoyed celebrity status. Wilds discusses Taylor's character as well as his accomplishments, concluding with an account of his modern "re-discovery." Her claim that he was the first African American to integrate a professional sports team is moot, as there were several nineteenth-century black baseball players, but she's to be applauded for introducing an indisputably underrecognized groundbreaker. Children tantalized by Mary Scioscia's Bicycle Rider (1983) will, at last, be able to satisfy their curiosity with this full-length biography. --John PetersReference Books BulletinReviews

School Library Journal Review

Gr 5 Up-Wilds's informative biography traces the life of a little-known African-American champion from his childhood in late-19th-century Indianapolis, where he discovered the newly popular sport, through his racing exploits throughout the world as he won numerous competitions. His tenacity served him well as he encountered racism and segregation. While this book is an important contribution to African-American biographies, evidence of the author's scholarship and research is lacking. Uncredited dialogue is included, and, while Taylor's autobiography is mentioned, its title and publication information are not. These discrepancies should be noted before selecting this title. A modest number of grainy, black-and-white photos of Taylor and his family are included.-Carol Fazioli, formerly at The Brearley School, New York City (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.