The Proudest Papa

Richard Williams has a great time being the progenitor of champions

Hamlet's old man may have set the standard for stage parents when he swore his son to a career of revenge, and screwed up the boy's life royally. Until recently, the definition of a stage parent was he or she who attempted to satisfy personal ambitions by directing the course of one's progeny, usually toward hell. Red Sox outfielder Jimmy Piersall was driven mad by his father's desire to play vicarious baseball. For Gypsy Rose Lee's obsessed mother, everything was coming up roses "for you and for me," but mostly "for me, me!"

Tales of these twisted relationships run from the...

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