Exploring West Virginia

Exploring West Virginia

Famous West Virginians

Colored People: A Memoir

cover photo: Colored People: A Memoir by Henry Louis Gates B G259

Henry Louis Gates, born in Keyser, West Virginia, is a respected educator, scholar, literary critic, and writer. In Colored People he reflects on his childhood in pre-civil rights West Virginia. He is currently a professor at Harvard University.

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The Last Great Senator: Robert C. Byrd's Encounters with Eleven Presidents

cover photo: The Last Great Senator: Robert C. Byrd's Encounters with Eleven Presidents by David Corbin B B9952C

Robert C. Byrd grew up in southern West Virginia and began his political career in the 1940's. Corbin examines Byrd's complex relationships with 11 presidents of the United States, from Eisenhower to Obama. Going beyond the boundaries of West Virginia and Capitol Hill, The Last Great Senator presents Byrd in a larger historical context, where he rose to the height of power in America.

West by West: My Charmed, Tormented Life

cover photo: West by West: My Charmed, Tormented Life by Jerry West 796.323 W51w

This fascinating autobiography recounts West's difficult journey from an abusive childhood in West Virginia (and the loss of a beloved brother to war) to his All-American success at West Virginia University, and his brilliant 40-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers.

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Chuck Yeager and the Bell X-1

cover photo: Chuck Yeager and the Bell X-1 by Dominick Pisano B qY37Pi

Each year, millions of visitors flock to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum to look at the Bell X-1 aircraft - the vehicle in which Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier on October 14, 1947. This in-depth look at the legendary aircraft tells the story of this momentous achievement-how the technology was developed, conflicts were resolved, and Yeager and his fellow pilots became the heroic figures depicted in The Right Stuff.

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T.D. Jakes: America's New Preacher

cover photo: T.D. Jakes: America's New Preacher by Shayne Lee B J257l

Thomas Dexter Jakes, Sr. from South Charleston is not only the pastor of one of the largest churches in the country but also CEO of a multimillion dollar empire, the host of a television program, author of a dozen bestsellers, and the producer of two Grammy Award nominated CDs and three critically acclaimed plays.

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Rocket Boys: A Memoir

cover photo: Rocket Boys: A Memoir by Homer Hickam B H627

This bestselling American memoir which inspired the movie October Sky is a powerful, luminous story of coming of age at the end of the 1950s. Hickam, born in Coalwood, WV, looks back after a distinguished NASA career to tell his own true story of growing up in a dying coal town and of how, against the odds, he made his dreams of launching rockets into outer space come true.

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Hot Rod Hundley: "You Gotta Love It, Baby"

cover photo: Hot Rod Hundley: "You Gotta Love It, Baby" by Rod Hundley B H9328

Born in Charleston, Rodney Clark Hundley announced Jazz games on radio, TV, and cable and has the unique distinction of being the only announcer in Jazz history. His broadcasting career includes stints with the New Orleans Jazz, Los Angeles Lakers, and the Phoenix Suns. This charming and fascinating biography captures the life and times of one of the most versatile broadcasters in America.

The Tale of the Devil: The Biography of Devil Anse Hatfield

catalog link: The Tale of the Devil: The Biography of Devil Anse Hatfield by Coleman Hatfield B H3596H 2012

"Devil Anse" Hatfield was born in Logan, W.Va. where he ran a logging operation. He's best known for his family's feud with the McCoy's from across the river in Kentucky. This book represents the first biography of Hatfield, penned by great-grandson Dr. Coleman Hatfield and noted Mountain State historian Robert Y. Spence. It is the powerful story of the family patriarch.

Profiles: West Virginians Who Made a Difference

by Charleston Gazette 920.0754 qP96

Here are profiles of 50 West Virginians who had an impact on West Virginia during the 20th century including Robert C. Byrd, Ken Hechler, Arch Moore and A.B. Brooks, collected and published by the Charleston Gazette.

West Virginia's African-American Women of Distinction

by West Virginia Women's Commission 920.0754 W511

A project of the W.Va. Women's Commission in partnership with Bob Wise, Governor, W.Va. Dept. of Health and Human Resources, Dept. of Education and the Arts, and the Library Commission to recognize some of the outstanding women of West Virginia.

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