News Release: Arts and Humanities, University News

Oct. 8,  2008

Emory Purchases Papers of Journalist Marshall Frady

Emory University’s Manuscript, Archives and Rare Book Library (MARBL) has purchased the papers of Marshall Frady, a journalist known for his controversial biography of Alabama Gov. George Wallace and works on other prominent Southerners.

Frady, who died in 2004 at age 64, was a biographer of well-known figures such as the Rev. Jesse Jackson and the Rev. Billy Graham. But it was his 1968 biography, "Wallace," for which he was best known. The book, condemned by Wallace as highly distorted, was published when the governor was a third party candidate for president. New York Times reviewer Ben A. Franklin called it a classic of "high journalism."

A native of Augusta, Ga., Frady wrote for Newsweek, the Saturday Evening Post and Life Magazine during the height of the civil rights era and frequently interviewed many leaders of the movement, including the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. He also was an Emmy-winning TV journalist, serving as chief correspondent for ABC News "Close Up," as a commentator for ABC's "Nightline," and contributor to publications such as The New Yorker and Esquire.

The archive encompasses Frady's research materials, including transcripts of interviews with his biography subjects and other close associates, "all of which will be of historical importance for later students and scholars of the American South," says Steve Enniss, director of MARBL, who made the purchase. 

Frady also had a reputation as a particularly literary journalist, says Enniss, and he maintained friendships with a wide literary circle. "I was delighted to see among his papers letters from Norman Mailer, Willie Morris and James Dickey, among many others," says Enniss.

Frady's papers will add to Emory's already strong research collection in Southern history and journalism.

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