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FW: Obituary for Grady McWhiney [Ala. historian]

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  • Amos J Wright
    Fyi... ajwright@uab.edu ... From: H-NET List for Southern History [mailto:H-SOUTH@H-NET.MSU.EDU] On Behalf Of Herr, David Sent: Thursday, April 27, 2006 11:00
    Message 1 of 1 , May 2 8:52 AM
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      Fyi... ajwright@...

      -----Original Message-----
      From: H-NET List for Southern History [mailto:H-SOUTH@...] On
      Behalf Of Herr, David
      Sent: Thursday, April 27, 2006 11:00 AM
      To: H-SOUTH@...
      Subject: Obituary for Grady McWhiney

      From: Paula Barnes [mailto:pbarnes@...]
      Subject: Obituary for Grady McWhiney

      FYI-4/23/2006 Chicago Tribune
      Paula Barnes, Editor H-Women
      ****************************************

      Dr. Grady McWhiney, 77, one of the most important and influential
      historians in the Twentienth Century, passed away Tuesday, April 18, at
      his home in Abilene, Texas, after a lengthy illness. He is survived by
      legions of loyal friends, former students, and honored colleagues who
      were all proud to have known him as ''Doc'' or ''Mac.'' His work
      continues on through the programs and initiatives of the Grady McWhiney
      Research Foundation. He was born on July 15, 1928, in Shreveport,
      Louisiana. After attending school in that city, he enlisted in the
      United States Marine Corps in the last year of World War II. He met and
      married Sue Baca while in California in 1947, then returned home after
      the war. He graduated from Centenary College and then earned his
      Master's degree in History from the Louisiana State University studying
      under the legendary Francis Butler Simkins. He continued his studies at
      Columbia University in New York, where he was one of the first graduate
      students to work with the highly respected David Donald. He received his
      Ph.D. in 1960. McWhiney's dissertation focused on the life and career of
      Confederate General Braxton Bragg, and he made his life's work the study
      of the Civil War era in the United States, as well as of Southern
      history. He authored or contributed to dozens of books on these
      subjects. His most notable titles include the Civil War best seller
      ''Attack and Die'' that he co-authored with his doctoral student Perry
      Jamieson, and his narrative biography ''Braxton Bragg and Confederate
      Defeat, Vol. I,'' a work that was completed with Vol. II by Judith Lee
      Hallock. His most path-breaking and provocative work was ''Cracker
      Culture: Celtic Ways in the Old South.'' McWhiney also wrote hundreds of
      articles for scholarly journals, and was a regular presenter at meetings
      of the Organization of American Historians, the American Historical
      Association, and the Southern Historical Association. He was also in
      great demand as a speaker for hundreds of Civil War enthusiasts' groups
      and civic organizations across the country and abroad. Grady McWhiney
      made an indelible mark on his profession and on the way that Americans,
      and Southerners in particular, view themselves. His life included an
      interesting mix of devotion, gentility, controversy, and dedication to
      his craft and to his students. He was also concerned that the study of
      history continue to be an important part of American education and
      society. As he put it, ''history should be accessible.'' With that
      mission in mind, he founded the Grady McWhiney Research Foundation,
      located in Abilene, Texas. He lived a great life. He taught at such
      diverse colleges and universities as Troy State University, Milsaps
      College, the University of California at Berkley, Northwestern
      University, the University of British Columbia, Wayne State University,
      the University of Alabama, Texas Christian University, and in retirement
      at Mississippi Southern University and McMurry University. In the course
      of his 44-year career, he trained 19 Ph.D.s - people who influence
      hundreds of thousands of lives and minds around the world through their
      work at colleges and universities and other history-related professions.
      Doc was fond of good conversation, excellent food and drink, Irish and
      Southern fiddle music, stylish cars, his friends, and his cats. Almost
      everyone who met him, though they may not agree with him, recognized him
      as the quintessential southern gentleman from his chivalrous manners to
      his snappy attire. As were his wishes, McWhiney's friends will hold a
      celebratory gathering for their mentor and compatriot on May 21, 2006,
      on the grounds of the Buffalo Gap Historic Village, where the aromas of
      wood smoke and pork barbecue will mingle with the sounds of laughter,
      fiddle music, and general conviviality as we bid farewell to our beloved
      companion. Sue Baca McWhiney predeceased him in 2000. His last days were
      eased by the unflinching kindness of Hospice of the Big Country. In
      addition, The Grady McWhiney Research Foundation continues his legacy of
      teaching and making history accessible to the rising generations.
      Memorials and contributions in his honor may be made to either of these
      organizations and will greatly help their important work. They may be
      sent to: The Grady McWhiney Research Foundation, Box 638 McM Station,
      Abilene, Texas, 79697 or to Hospice of the Big Country, 4601 Hartford
      St., Abilene, Texas, 79605. For more information on Grady McWhiney's
      life and work, see [ http://www.mcwhiney.org ][ http://www.mcwhiney.org
      ]www.mcwhiney.org. Arrangements were under the direction of The Hamil
      Family Funeral Home, 6449 Buffalo Gap Road, Abilene, Texas 79606.
      Published in the Chicago Tribune on 4/23/2006.
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