Harry Monroe Caudill
Born in Long Branch, near Whitesburg, Kentucky, on May 3, 1922. Attorney, Writer, Professor. University of Kentucky, Bachelor of Laws Degree, 1948.
He first came to national prominence in 1963 with the publication of the widely acclaimed "Night Comes To The Cumberlands". This book is considered a textbook on the problems of Appalachia by many Washington agencies and has been influential in calling the nation's attention to the plight of Appalachia. It is used in teaching economics and sociology in a number of colleges and universities. The book was listed as one of the 50 best books of 1963 by the American Library Association.
Over the next two decades, Caudill continued to write and speak out on the conditions in Appalachia, publishing a number of books as well as a series of articles in such magazines as "Atlantic Monthly", The "Nation, New York Times Sunday Magazine", "Audubon Magazine", "Commonweal", and "Mountain Life and Work".
He himself has been the subject of articles by Calvin Trillin for "The New Yorker" and by David McCullough for "American Heritage", and of several television programs including one produced by the BBC.
A longtime Whitesburg attorney who was elected to the Kentucky state legislature in 1954, 1956 and 1960, Caudill has also testified before both houses of Congress on such public issues as balanced economic development, strip mining and the problems of older Americans in rural areas.
In recognition of his efforts as a legislator to improve the quality of Kentucky schools, and of his early leadership in natural-resource conservation, the University presented a Centennial Medallion to Mr. Caudill in 1965.
His writing and lecturing activities now are centered on the campus of this University where he has been professor of history since 1977. Here, through his zeal for teaching, his ready rapport with people of all ages, and his well honed wit, he quickly and effectively gained the respect of students and faculty alike.
Harry Monroe Caudill was named to the Hall of Distinguished Alumni on April 11, 1980.