Go to Amazon.com and type in the name Jim Bolus and sure enough you’ll find a ton of books on the Derby City’s rich sports history, books like Royal Blood: Fifty Years of Classic Thoroughbreds, Remembering the Derby, Louisville Cardinals Football, Kentucky Derby Stories and that’s just scratching the surface.
And, for being one of the most prolific sports writers in the city’s history James “Jim” Bolus is a Sports legend of the ‘Ville. Internationally, known as a horse racing expert Bolus’ story starts in the heart of Louisville.
In high school he was an all-star basketball player for his alma mater, Male where he graduated in 1960.
From there Bolus’ pen led his way, gaining his audience and eventually becoming the most widely respected Kentucky Derby historian to date, as such Bolus’ seven books on the subject are considered required reading for anybody looking for full and in-depth coverage on the annual event.
Bolus’ accolades go past his writing regarding the equine arts though, notably writing often on the history of University of Louisville athletics and other area sports dynasties, for twenty three years Bolus wrote for area newspapers and in that time he received national awards for his horse racing coverage.
His work can be seen in countless pages, many of which have been compiled in compendiums like the books previously cited where he was either the sole author or a contributor.
Not just a writer though, Bolus was an accomplished reporter, and his interview archives are extraordinarily impressive, when one goes through them. They show generations of all people passing through the city, with a focus on horse racing, this expertise led him to cover the Derby nationally.
At the end of the day though, Bolus’ legacy can still be seen in the Kentucky Derby Museum and in books like Above the Rim: A Complete History of University of Louisville Basketball, The Insider’s Pocket Guide to Horse Racing, Derby Magic, Derby Fever, Derby Dreams and I’m still just getting started.
Image courtesy of Pass the Word