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Comer Vann Woodward (November 13, 1908 - December 17, 1999) was a preeminent American historian focusing primarily on the American South and race relations.
He attended Henderson-Brown College in Arkadelphia, Arkansas for two years. He transferred to Emory University in 1930 where he graduated. He received a Ph.D. in history from the University of North Carolina.
Woodward took graduate courses at Columbia University in 1931 where he met, and was influenced by, Langston Hughes and the Harlem Renaissance movement. In 1932 he worked for the defense of Angelo Hernandez, a young Communist Party member who had been accused of subversive activities.
In 1974, during Congressional deliberations concerning the grounds for recommending the impeachment of President Richard Nixon, John Doar, the Special Counsel of the House Committee on the Judiciary, summond Woodward to Washington, DC. Doar asked Woodward to create for their Committee a historical study of misconduct in previous Administrations and how the Presidents responded. Woodward led a group of fourteen historians and they produced a thorough 400 page report in less than 4 months. The report was then published by Dell Publishing as Responses of the Presidents to Charges of Misconduct.
Woodward won the Pulitzer Prize in 1982 for Mary Chestnut's Civil War. He won the Bancroft Prize for The Origins of the New South. Martin Luther King, Jr called The Strange Career of Jim Crow "the historical bible of the civil rights movement."
C. Vann Woodward died in Hamden, Connecticut.
The Southern Historical Association has established the C. Vann Woodward Dissertation Prize awarded annually to the best dissertation on southern history.
Some Works by C. Vann Woodward