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July 6 Marked 52 Years Since Death of William Faulkner

William Faulkner passed away July 6, 1962,  Photo by Jack Cofield (c) The Cofield Collection – The Center for the Study of Southern Culture – University of Mississippi

On July 6, 1962, 52 years ago … the phone rang around 2 a.m., my mother answered it and handed the phone to Jimmy… it was the staff at the hospital in Byhalia calling to inform Jimmy that Brother Will had passed away.
Grand John made his way to Douglass Funeral Home, where he sat on the steps awaiting the arrival of his older brother.
While Grand John was sitting on those steps, gazing out over the courtyard of the Square, his memories took him back to when he and his brothers were children … and this was the beginning of Grand John’s last book, a tribute to his older brother titled “My Brother Bill”… –Rusty Faulkner
On March 20, 1962, Dad took the last of the Cofield portraits of William Faulkner. He had always wanted to photograph Mr. Faulkner. So Granddad gave him the keys to the studio and told him to have at it, and went fishing. The comfort Mr. Faulkner felt with Granddad was inherited by the son in this case. It is in these shots by Granddad and Dad, over three decades, that you’ll find the most photogenic Faulkner ever. –John Cofield
Courtesy of John Cofield, a hottytoddy.com writer and one of Oxford’s leading folk historians. He is the son of renowned university photographer Jack Cofield. His grandfather, “Col.” J. R. Cofield, was William Faulkner’s personal photographer and for decades was Ole Miss yearbook photographer. Cofield attended Ole Miss as well. Contact John at johnbcofield@gmail.com.

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