Catalyze Episode 20: Audience Q&A with Taylor Branch ’68
You’re about to hear the second half of a recorded visit with Pulitzer Prize-winning author and historian Taylor Branch. Last week we published a moderated Q&A with him, and now you’re about to hear an audience Q&A. This conversation was recorded live during a recent visit Taylor made to the Foundation, when he was in Chapel Hill to be inducted into the NC Media and Journalism Hall of Fame.
A member of the Morehead-Cain class of 1968, Taylor is best known for his trilogy of books chronicling the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and much of the history of the American Civil Rights Movement. The first of those books—Parting the Waters—is what won him the Pulitzer Prize.
Taylor grew up in Atlanta in the 50s and early 60s. After graduating from Carolina, he earned an M.P.A. from Princeton University. Taylor has worked as an editor and columnist for a number of national magazines. Over the years, he developed a friendship with Bill Clinton—a relationship that continued into Clinton’s time in the White House. Taylor later wrote a book about that relationship, which he titled The Clinton Tapes: Wrestling History with the President.
Taylor’s many awards include a MacArthur Fellowship (also known as a “genius grant”), the National Humanities Medal, the Dayton Literary Peace Prize Lifetime Achievement Award, and the BIO Award from Biographers International Organization.
Taylor now lives in Baltimore with his wife, Christy.