10 episodes

In 1960s Los Angeles, after the catastrophic Watts riots, an outsized character emerged — one who found an unexpected way to unite people across race and class. Odds are you’ve never heard of him. From L.A. Times Studios, the team behind “Dirty John” and “Man in the Window,” comes “Larger Than Life,” a docu-series about Big Willie Robinson, a 6-foot-6, muscle-bound street racer who preached peace a quarter-mile at a time. Cops and criminals, movie stars and miscreants, even Crips and Bloods — out at the drag strip, Big Willie could get them all to see eye to eye, easing tensions and making L.A. a safer and more unified place. For a time, he was a celebrated figure in L.A. — but today his legend has faded. What caused him to fall into obscurity? Reported, written and hosted by Daniel Miller from the L.A. Times. Produced by L.A. Times Studios and Neon Hum Media. Photo Illustration by Wondery.

Larger Than Life Wondery

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.2, 697 Ratings

In 1960s Los Angeles, after the catastrophic Watts riots, an outsized character emerged — one who found an unexpected way to unite people across race and class. Odds are you’ve never heard of him. From L.A. Times Studios, the team behind “Dirty John” and “Man in the Window,” comes “Larger Than Life,” a docu-series about Big Willie Robinson, a 6-foot-6, muscle-bound street racer who preached peace a quarter-mile at a time. Cops and criminals, movie stars and miscreants, even Crips and Bloods — out at the drag strip, Big Willie could get them all to see eye to eye, easing tensions and making L.A. a safer and more unified place. For a time, he was a celebrated figure in L.A. — but today his legend has faded. What caused him to fall into obscurity? Reported, written and hosted by Daniel Miller from the L.A. Times. Produced by L.A. Times Studios and Neon Hum Media. Photo Illustration by Wondery.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5
697 Ratings

697 Ratings

Sarah giggy ,

Fascinating Story about a fascinating man

Really enjoyed this story. This is a man who deserves to be known for all of the good he did.

speedster1952 ,

Fantastic

Loved this podcast. Especially how the stunning revelation was handled in episode 5. A must-listen for Los Angeles history buffs and fans of car culture.

BoyGenus ,

Please turn this into a movie!

Thank you for sharing Big Willie’s story. He was an incredible man with a big heart, deep mind and complex personality. He’d be a fantastic character in a movie. I hope someone takes this story to the big screen. Winston Duke or Terry Crews as Big Willie???

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