Investigative Journalist And Author Bill Dedman To Speak At Baylor Monday

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Baylor School graduate and Pulitzer-Prize winning investigative reporter Bill Dedman will return to his alma mater and hometown March 10-11 to share insights on his nationally acclaimed book, Empty Mansions: The Mysterious Life of Huguette Clark and the Spending of a Great American Fortune. 

Review for Empty Mansions:

Empty Mansions is a nonfiction history/biography of a remarkable American family, from the father W.A. Clark, who discovered incredible riches in copper during the Civil War and founded Las Vegas, to his last surviving daughter, Huguette, who held a ticket on the Titanic and was still alive in New York City on 9/11. Mr. Dedman stumbled on the story, discovering that Huguette’s fantastic estates were unoccupied while she lived out her last 20 years in a simple hospital room. 

Mr. Dedman collaborated with Paul Clark Newell, Jr., a cousin of the eccentric heiress Huguette Clark and one of the few relatives to have frequent conversations with her. Empty Mansions was published in September by Ballantine Books (Random House), and reached No. 1 on the New York Times Bestseller List. It was named on best-of-the-year lists from Goodreads, Barnes & Noble, and Amazon.com, and on the year-end favorites list from New York Times book critic Janet Maslin. It has stayed on the bestseller lists from The New York Times and Indie Bound (independent bookstores) for nine weeks, and The Los Angeles Times list for 13 weeks. 

In a story that spans nearly all of American history in three generations, Mr. Dedman and Mr. Newell tell a fairy tale in reverse: the talented daughter, born into a family of fortune and privilege, who hides herself from the outside world. The authors reveal a complex portrait of the enigmatic Huguette and her intimate circle—including her extravagant father, her publicity-shy mother, her star-crossed sister, her French boyfriend, her nurse who received more than $30 million in gifts, and the relatives fighting to inherit Huguette’s copper fortune. Richly illustrated with more than seventy photographs, updated with information on the outcome of the contentious court battle for the estate, and based on the conversations with Huguette as well as the testimony of fifty witnesses including her inner circle, Empty Mansions is a story of an eccentric of the highest order, a last jewel of the Gilded Age who lived life on her own terms. 

More information about the book is at http://emptymansionsbook.com/ 

Mr. Dedman will speak in the Baylor School Alumni Chapel on Monday. On Tuesday, March 11, he will meet with the Chattanooga Writers' Guild at the Chattanooga Public Library (downtown), from 6:30 - 8 p.m. This event is free and open to the public. He will appear live on WRCB-TV’s “3 Plus You” show Tuesday, March 11 at noon, and a taped interview on WTCI’s “The A List with Alison Lebovitz will air in May (go to www.wtcitv.org for specific dates). 

Mr. Dedman graduated from Baylor in 1978 and worked at the Chattanooga Times as a copy boy at the age of 16 and was a page at the public library shelving books. He attended Washington University in St. Louis and was a copy editor and a reporter for the Chattanooga News Free Press and the Chattanooga Times before joining the Atlanta Journal Constitution. While working there as an investigative reporter he was awarded the 1989 Pulitzer Prize for "The Color of Money," a series of articles that exposed racial discrimination in mortgage lending in Atlanta. In 2006 he joined NBC News, where he writes for NBCNews.com, formerly known as msnbc.com.


Soddy Daisy Student Graduates From Fort Hays State University

Koral Marie Harper, of Soddy Daisy, was one of 337 graduates of Fort Hays State University, Hays, Ks., in the summer term.  Ms. Harper earned an Associate of General Studies with an emphasis in general business.  Fort Hays State, one of six state universities in the Kansas Board of Regents system, announces only verified graduates. The process of verifying that ... (click for more)

Southeast Bank Makes Contribution To CSCC

Southeast Bank provided a charitable contribution to Cleveland State Community College in the amount of $3,000 to go toward the awarding of annual scholarships to students.   (click for more)

Woman Stabbed Multiple Times On Cleveland Avenue Early Thursday Morning

A woman was stabbed multiple times early Thursday morning. At approximately 3 a.m., Chattanooga Police responded to 2104 Cleveland Ave. for a stabbing. Officers located a black female in the roadway suffering from multiple stab wounds. The victim was transported to a local hospital by HCEMS for her injuries and is in stable condition. Investigators have not been able to ... (click for more)

City Council Taking Applications From Those Interested In Serving On City IDB

The City Council is taking applications from those interested in serving on the city industrial Development Board (IDB).   There are four vacancies on the board that has been in the news for its controversial approval and re-approval of $9 million in Tax Increment Financing (TIF) for developers of Aetna Mountain. Resumes are due by Sept. 29.   ... (click for more)

Walking Among Memories, The USS LST-325

I have walked among the head stones at Flanders Fields and have seen the entrenchment of soldiers with only bayonet tips sticking out of the earth. Later I traveled to Normandy where I stood on the sand and made scuff marks with my shoes on Omaha Beach and climbed the hill to the magnificent American Cemetery there. I again walked among the many, many tomb stones so neatly and ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Troubling Jameis Winston

One of the greatest things about the American legal system is that each and every crime is judged on its own merits. Just because Arizona Cardinals running back Jonathan Dwyer and Carolina Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy were each arrested for domestic abuse earlier this week, each National Football League football hero will be given an independent hearing and trial, if need be, ... (click for more)