The Art of the Ethical Deal: How Bob Woolf Mastered Friendly Persuasion

When we hear about professional athletes or musicians actors who get those multi-million dollar contracts, do you ever think about who got them that deal?

Behind the scenes you will typically find an experienced and skilled negotiator.Someone like Bob Woolf, one of the pioneers of snagging big contracts for sports stars.

Woolf represented stars like Carl Yastrzemski, Larry Bird, and Julius Erving.

Get your copy of Bob woolf’s book

But he also negotiated deals for Larry King and New Kids On The Block.

And along the way Woolf developed a reputation that may run counter to your notion of what a powerful dealmaker has to be. Woolf was known for his amicable and strictly ethical approach to negotiating a deal.

He shared his knowledge in a 1990 book called Friendly Persuasion. And that’s when I met him.

So here now, from 1990, Bob Woolf.

Bob Woolf died in 1993. He was 65.

Behind the Scenes with Teresa Godwin Phelps: The Coach’s Wife

Teresa Godwin Phelps was a noted and respected law professor for several decades, at Notre Dame and American University

But to the public at large, she was better known as the wife of legendary Notre Dame basketball coach Digger Phelps.

She called her 1994 memoir The Coach’s Wife, a rumination on the joys and the frustrations of being in the shadow of such a public figure. And trying to navigate the sometimes-murky waters of college athletics.

Photo by J Rosenfeld

Ironically, it was 50 years ago today, January 19, 1974 that Digger Phelps’s Notre Dame team recorded perhaps its greatest victory. That was the day that the Fighting Irish upset John Wooden’s UCLA, ending the Bruins’ 88-game winning streak.

So here now, from 1994 Teresa Godwin Phelps.

In 2019 Professor Phelps retired from Washington College of Law and is currently Professor Emerita.

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Cyndy Garvey

Photo by Cal Montney, LA Times

Major League baseball fans will remember Steve Garvey, the charismatic All-Star first baseman for the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 1970s and 1980s.

On the field, Garvey was a superstar.

In his personal life, however, not so much, according to his ex-wife Cyndy Garvey.

There’s was a messy and public divorce in the late 1970s.

And, according to Cyndy, she took much of the blame from loyal Dodgers fan who couldn’t believe allegations accusing Steve of cheating and abuse.

Steve and Cyndy Garvey with their daughter, 1975. Photo: LA Times

She put it all in her 1989 book The Secret Life of Cyndy Garvey.

And that’s when I met her. So here now, from 1989, Cyndy Garvey.

Cyndy Garvey celebrated her 74th birthday this month.

More than 30 years after his retirement from baseball, Steve Garvey has not yet won election to the baseball Hall of Fame.

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Ron Luciano

They say baseball is a funny game. No, really, it’s a funny game full of funny characters.

In the 1980s, one of the best chroniclers of those characters was former Major League umpire Ron Luciano.

Luciano umpired in the American League from 1969 to 1979. And along the way, he collected hundreds of stories about some of the most colorful characters in Major League Baseball, past and present.

I met Ron Luciano in 1989, as we talked about his book Remembrance of Swings Past.

So here now, from 1989, Ron Luciano.

Ron Luciano died in 1995. He was 57 years old.