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 Willie Morris

Willie Morris

Original Name William Weaks
Birth
Jackson, Hinds County, Mississippi, USA
Death 2 Aug 1999 (aged 64)
Jackson, Hinds County, Mississippi, USA
Burial Yazoo City, Yazoo County, Mississippi, USA
Plot Close to the front entrance in the center section of the old part of the cemetery, plot
Memorial ID 6115 · View Source
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Author. Morris graduated class valedictorian at Yazoo City High School in 1952. He was editor of the school paper, The Daily Texan, at the University of Texas and was elected Phi Beta Kappa. He graduated there with a degree in English in 1956. Morris received a Rhodes Scholarship and studied modern history at New College in England until 1960. He was editor of the Texas Observer in Austin, Texas from 1960-63. He started work for Harper's Magazine in New York in 1963 and became editor-in-chief in 1967 at age 32, the youngest editor ever of the nation's oldest magazine. Morris resigned from Harper's in 1971 in an editorial dispute. Morris lived in Oxford for a time starting in 1980 as writer-in-residence at the University of Mississippi. Morris wrote 17 books: Nonfiction : North Toward Home (1967), Yazoo, Integration in a Deep Southern Town (1971), A Southern Album: Recollections of Some People and Places and Times Gone By (1975), James Jones: A Friendship (1978), The Courting of Marcus Dupree (1983), Faulkner's Mississippi (1990), New York Days (1993), My Dog Skip (1995), and The Ghosts of Medgar Evers: A Tale of Race, Murder, Mississippi, and the Movies (1998); Fiction: The Last of the Southern Girls (1973); Essay Collections: The South Today: 100 Years After Appomattox (1965), Terrains of the Heart and other Essays on Home (1981), Always Stand in Against the Curve and Other Sports Stories (1983), Homecomings (1989), My Two Oxfords (1992), and After All, It's Just a Game (1992); Books for Children : Good Old Boy: A Delta Boyhood (1971), and Good Old Boy and the Witch of Yazoo (1989). Good Old Boy: A Delta Boyhood was made into a movie released in 1988, then re-released in 1994 as The River Pirates. The movie, My Dog Skip, based on Morris' book about his childhood in Yazoo City, was filmed in the spring of 1998 in Canton, Jackson and Yazoo City, and released in Oct. 1999. He received the Governor's Award for Excellence in the Arts in 1994. At the Natchez Literary Festival in 1996 he received the third annual Richard Wright Medal for Literary Excellence, joining the select company of the previous two winners, Eudora Welty and Margaret Walker. Morris wrote the introductory essay, A Prayer Before the Feast, for the official souvenir program of Atlanta's Centennial Olympic Games of 1996. In a 1999 poll by The Clarion-Ledger, readers picked Morris as their No.1 favorite nonfiction writer. He had lived in Jackson since 1990. Literary genius Willie Morris died of a heart attack on Aug. 2, 1999, at the age of 64. Reaction to the writer's death came from many quarters, including the White House. President Clinton issued the statement, 'Hillary and I were greatly saddened by the death of our good friend. Willie Morris was not only my friend, he was a national treasure.' Public visitation was on Aug. 5 in the Rotunda of the Old Capitol Museum. Morris was the first to lie in state there since Senator John C. Stennis in 1995. The memorial service that followed that day at First United Methodist Church in Yazoo City was attended by over 400 people. (James Cox, Publisher of The Mississippi Almanac).


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 17 Aug 1999
  • Find A Grave Memorial 6115
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Willie Morris (29 Nov 1934–2 Aug 1999), Find A Grave Memorial no. 6115, citing Glenwood Cemetery, Yazoo City, Yazoo County, Mississippi, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .