Applauded by the public and revered by the men who served under him, Adm. William F. Halsey was one of the leading American personalities of World War II. His reputation as a no-holds-barred fighter and his tough-guy expression earned him the nickname "Bull," yet he was also known for showing genuine compassion toward his men and inspiring them to great feats in the Pacific. Originally disclaiming the praise heaped on him, Halsey eventually came to believe in the swashbuckling legend that surrounded him, and his conduct became increasingly controversial.
Naval historian E. B. Potter, who established his reputation with an award-winning biography of Chester W. Nimitz, gets behind the stereotype of this national hero and describes Halsey at his best and worst, including his controversial actions at Leyte Gulf. To write this book Potter had full access to Halsey's family and to the admiral's private papers and provides detail of Halsey's youth and career before the war. First published in 1985, it remains the definitive study.