Taylor Branch sitting in chair speaking to a group of people.

Catalyze Season Three continues with a bonus episode featuring Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and author Taylor Branch ’68. This interview was recorded in front of an audience 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.

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. In this episode, you’ll hear some entertaining stories from Taylor about that experience.

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.

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Published Date

May 6, 2019


Alumni Authors, Media, Film, and Journalism

Article Type

Alumni Stories, Podcasts