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I love to encounter strangers who know little of our state — especially those who believe the oversimplified, often sensationalized reports, about Mississippi. Nothing is quite as gratifying as rattling off a list of notable, accomplished Mississippians.
I start with football: the greatest receiver of all time; the most prolific quarterback of all time; the most admired running back of all time. Then I move to literature: the greatest novelist of the 20th century; the best playwright of the 20th century; the best-selling author in America; more Pulitzer Prize winners per capita than any other state.
Then on to music: the King of Rock and Roll; the King of the Blues; the men and women who inspired the rock and roll movement.
Next, film and television: the most beloved actor of our generation, the most powerful woman in entertainment; and the two most recognizable narrative voices in the world.
I usually finish the onslaught with the founder of FedEx; the founder of MTV; the man who introduced Netscape to the world.
Then I ask, “Would you like to compare lists?”
I wrote this introductory paragraph two years ago for the introduction of a coffee table book called Mississippians: Limited Edition. The book showcases our extraordinary citizens through the lenses and pens of some of our state’s top writers and photographers.
I ended the introduction with:
We hope you enjoy reading this book as much as we have enjoyed the process of publishing this limited, first edition. We look forward to hearing your nominations for future editions. And in my future, I look forward to handing this book to strangers rather than subject them to my rants.
Mississippians (first edition) sold out in four months. In 2011, we published a second, expanded edition. The first edition has become quite a collector’s item. The books now sell on ebay for upwards of $150.
Last month, a distributor from the Northeast U.S., returned 100 copies of the first edition. Though some fluke, the books had been lost in their warehouse. So we now have 100 copies of this sought-after book.
For HottyToddy.com readers, we will offer the book for $45 (the original retail price). And we will donate 50 percent of the proceeds to scholarships to the Meek School of Journalism and New Media.
Click here to order: https://nautiluspublishing.com/milfied.html
During the coming weeks, HottyToddy.com will feature some of the famous, notable, extraordinary, and little-known Mississippians featured in the book. Spread the word. It’s a great story.

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