Friday, June 25, 2021

Mississippi Stories: Curtis Wilkie

By Marshall Ramsey

Mississippi Today

Mississippi Today Editor-At-Large Marshall Ramsey sits down with journalist, author and teacher Curtis Wilkie to talk about his long career and his new book, “When Evil Lived in Laurel: The “White Knights” and the Murder of Vernon Dahmer.”

A 1963 graduate of the University of Mississippi (He drew a map of what happened the night of the riot that is in the Ole Miss archives), Wilkie began his career at the Clarksdale Press Register covering the Civil Rights movement.

From there, he went on to cover eight presidential campaigns (he was one of the Boys on the Bus during the 1972 Nixon Campaign), being the White House correspondent during the Carter and Reagan administrations and then covering the Middle East for the Boston Globe. After his retirement  from the Globe, Wilkie became a professor and fellow at the Overby Center where he taught until recently.  

He is also the author of several books including “Dixie: A Personal Odyssey Through Events That Shaped the Modern South,” “The Fall of the House of Zeus: The Rise and Ruin of America’s Most Powerful Trial Lawyer,” “The Road to Camelot: Inside JFK’s Five-year Campaign” (Co-authored with Tom Oliphant) and “Assassins, Eccentrics, Politicians, and Other Persons of Interest: Fifty Pieces from the Road.” A frequent guest on CSPAN, Wilkie is a master storyteller who has helped document history for over a half-century. 

This article first appeared on Mississippi Today and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.


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