The Paul Haber Story

by Monty Nereim

     This story Is based on 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.  He rose to fame and misfortune upsetting everyone and everything in his path.


His clashes with the very hand that fed him played out in juicy detail in Newsweek, Sports Illustrated, lIFE and Ace magazines as well as newspapers coast-to-coast, including the front page of the Wall Street Journal.


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.


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.

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 its zenith in popularity. Nereim chronicles the significant events in Haber’s life that render him the unlikely paradigm of legend and tragedy.




Photo by Keith Thode