Carl Weathers, 1948-2024

Heroes do not become who they are in isolation. They become heroes by pushing against seemingly immovable objects that obstruct them and, of course, against other intransigent people. Our greatest political hero, President Abraham Lincoln, had to battle against Jefferson Davis and the Confederate army. Our literature’s first great epic hero, Achilles, had to confront Hector. Our greatest comic book hero, Superman, has to contend with Lex Luthor. And the character who is arguably our greatest modern movie hero, Rocky Balboa, must square off against the indomitable Apollo Creed. But unlike almost all other instances of hero formation, in the case of Rocky and Apollo Creed, the great antagonist ended up becoming a hero in his own right — and a hero who became almost as legendary as the figure he had been opposing. 

Actor and former
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