Author Paul Hemphill, onetime Chronicle writer, dies in Atlanta

Saturday, July 11, 2009 12:37 PM
Last updated 12:58 PM
  • Follow Latest News

ATLANTA – Writer Paul Hemphill, who chronicled the blue-collar South with his memoir "Leaving Birmingham" and wrote a biography of country singer Hank Williams, has died at the age of 73.

Hemphill died early Saturday, according to A.S. Turner & Sons funeral home. He had spent some time in hospice care with cancer.

The son of a long-distance trucker, Hemphill grew up in Birmingham, Ala., and served with the Alabama Air National Guard. He worked in public relations and newspapers, including several years as a sports writer and columnist for The Augusta Chronicle.

He went to Atlanta in 1964 to join the short-lived Atlanta Times. He was hired away by the Atlanta Journal as a columnist.

During a Nieman Fellowship in 1968-69, he wrote "The Nashville Sound," which sold 75,000 copies in hardcover as a groundbreaking look at country music and the Grand Ole Opry.

Top headlines

Monitor reports worsening Vogtle delays

Scheduling delays for two nuclear reactors under construction at Plant Vogtle are worsening, according to a report from a state-hired construction monitor.
Search Augusta jobs