Author and former Charlotte Observer Southern editor Frye Gaillard won the University of Alabama’s 2012 Clarence Cason Award in Nonfiction Writing and this video was prepared to be shown at the awards banquet on March 1, 2012.
Gaillard was born in Mobile and received a degree from Vanderbilt University before beginning work for various publications, including the Mobile Press-Register, the Associated Press and the Race Relations Reporter in Nashville. He worked for the Charlotte Observer for 18 years, serving as reporter, opinion writer and Southern editor.
“Sometimes it seems like Frye Gaillard has written about pretty much everything important in my South, from politics to race to religion to … well, you name it,” said Rick Bragg, professor of writing in the UA journalism department and former Cason Award winner.
“As a reporter he covered busing, the firebrand in the civil rights movement, and he covered Elvis Presley’s funeral. As an author he has shown us Jimmy Carter and Jim and Tammy Faye Baker and, again, you name it. He even crossed over to the dark side as an editor, at the respected Charlotte Observer. I think he’s an excellent recipient, for this award or for any.”
Gaillard has written a number of nonfiction books, most recently “Alabama’s Civil Rights Trail: An Illustrated Guide to the Cradle of Freedom” (2010) and “In the Path of the Storms: Bayou La Batre, Coden and the Alabama Coast” (2008, 2011), both of which were published by the University of Alabama press.
He also has written a fiction book, a children’s book and has co-written multiple songs. His other awards include the Lillian Smith Book Award, the NAACP Humanitarian Award and awards from the Alabama Library Association, the Southeastern Library Association and the American Library Association.
Gaillard currently is Writer in Residence in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of South Alabama.
The award is named for Clarence Cason, who founded the UA department of journalism in 1928. Each year, the University bestows the honor on a recipient with a strong connection to Alabama and whose writings have made a critical contribution to the journalism and literature of the South. The department of journalism is a division of the College of Communication and Information Sciences.
In winning the Clarence Cason Award, Gaillard joins such distinguished writers as Bragg, Diane McWhorter, Howell Raines and E.O. Wilson, all winners of the Pulitzer Prize.
Video produced by Mike Letcher and Don Noble. Camera by Preston Sullivan. Edited by Hamilton Henson and Max Shores.
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