Undiagnosed, Unscrupulous and Unbeatable chronicles the life of a quick-witted Jewish kid who battled child abuse, manic depression, personality disorder and alcohol to become one of history's greatest and most controversial handball players. Had these issues not been a part of his life, would he still have become a legendary superstar in his sport? Conflict and triumph have many stories, non like the saga of Paul Haber.
Charisma and manipulation bolstered his admiration and support by many well-intentioned enablers. Brazen intimidation, unscrupulous conduct and exceptional athleticism accounted for his succession of demoralizing victories over his opponents. His clashes with the very hand that fed him played out in juicy detail in Newsweek, Sports Illustrated, Argosy and Ace magazines as well as newspapers coast-to-coast, including the front page of the Wall Street Journal.
Haber was both loved and hated by many but the press and fans salivated over his every appearance. He rose to fame and misfortune upsetting everyone and everything in his path. Multi-millionaire Robert Kendler and others became his unwitting sponsors, providing money and excuses for his irresponsible actions, while applauding his unprecedented string of victories on the handball circuit.
The unflappable dark prince of handball was unfazed by authority. Time in jail, probation and commitment to a state mental institution provided colorful gossip but no real changes to the character of the unbeatable champ. Even his lucky escape from the Chicago Mob had little impact on Haber, until later.
Four failed marriages and an equal number of fatherless kids made for an interesting challenge for lawyers and court ordered support demands. Haber's callous disregard for responsibility equally matched his disdain for his opponents in handball. His reputation as a womanizer as well as his training regimen of cigarettes, booze and carousing were the antithesis of what the United States Handball Association attempted to convey to the public and defied his status as the nation's best handball player.
Haber's celebrity status climaxed with his challenge to the reigning national racquetball champion, Dr. Bud Muelheisen creating a furor over which sport was superior; handball or racquetball. For six years Haber reigned king of the hill in handball, and for years after he milked it as former royalty among handball enthusiasts. Labeled the bad boy of the sport, he relished his status as an unemployed "handball bum."
The Paul Haber story is an intriguing chronicle of this gifted but cursed superstar of the 1960's and 70's when handball was at is zenith in popularity. Nereim chronicles the significant events in Haber's life that render him the unlikely paradigm of legend and tragedy.