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Popular Topics in The Arts
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In Memoriam
 
In Memoriam: Dudley Clendenin (1944-2012)
Posted by: Claude J. Summers on 06/03/12
Last updated on: 06/03/12
 
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Dudley Clendenin interviewing James McGreevey in 2006.

Journalist Dudley Clendinen died on May 30, 2012 in a Baltimore hospice of complications from ALS. Over his career, he was associated as reporter, feature writer, or editor with such newspapers as the St. Petersburg Times, the New York Times, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and the Baltimore Sun. He was best known for his writing about civil rights, aging in America, and the lives of gay Americans.

In 1988, Clendinen edited a collection of essays entitled The Prevailing South: Life and Politics in a Changing Culture and wrote the text for a volume of photographs, Homeless in America.

With Adam Nagourney, he wrote Out for Good: The Struggle to Build a Gay Rights Movement in America. The book, which was published in 1999, surveyed the gay rights movement from the 1969 Stonewall Inn uprising in Greenwich Village to the founding of ACT UP in 1987.

Clendenin's last book, A Place Called Canterbury: Tales of the New Old Age in America (2008) detailed life in a Tampa retirement-nursing home, Canterbury Towers, where his widowed mother spent her last years and where he lived for 400 days.

In 2011, Clendenin wrote an op-ed for the New York Times entitled "J. Edgar Hoover Outed My Godfather." The article tells the story of Arthur Vandenberg, Jr., who in 1952 had been appointed as secretary and chief of staff of President-elect Eisenhower. The article is discussed here.

Robert D. McFadden in the New York Times describes Clendenin as "a courtly Southern journalist and author who wrote lyrically about civil rights, aging in America, the poignancy of ordinary lives and his own approaching death as a gay alcoholic victim of Lou Gehrig's disease."

Clendenin is survived by his daughter Whitney and his sister Melissa Spring.

In the video below from 2006, Clendenin interviews former New Jersey Governor James McGreevey who described himself as "a gay American."

 
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