RIP Ed Youngblood, former AMA President
Al Ivins
Ed Youngblood, who dedicated over 35 years of his life to the AMA, 29 of them serving as President and CEO, passed away last Sunday. Youngblood's tenure at the helm of the AMA spanned from the 1970s to the 1990s.

Ed possessed a fine collection of bench racing tales, ranging from smoking marijuana with Gary Nixon to safeguarding all three of Elvis' AMA membership cards in his desk. One memorable escapade involved Ed and Merrill Vanderslice venturing into a gritty inner-city neighborhood to retrieve a briefcase of cash stolen from the Miami AMA race. In those days, the AMA paid the purse in cash on Sundays after the race. AMA race czar Bill Boyce had set the case down in the pits to speak with someone and it was quickly stolen.

Unarmed, Ed and Merrill managed to recover the briefcase and the money. Merrill recounted how Ed calmly explained to the individuals in possession of the case—and the cash—that the money was intended to compensate dozens of racers who had traveled to Miami to participate in the motorcycle race. Losing this money would have had a devastating economic impact on these racers. In the end, they walked out of the Miami inner-city neighborhood with $50,000 in cash in the same briefcase. The gentlemen who had stolen the money and the briefcase—and given it back—sent one of their associates with the AMA men to provide safe passage back to the racetrack.

True story.
— ends —
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