This Goodly Land

Howell Raines (February 5, 1943–present)

Other Names Used

Alabama Connections

Selected Works

Literary Awards

Biographical Information

Howell Raines was born and raised in Birmingham, Ala. He decided at age ten that he wanted to write when he grew up. Raines attended Birmingham-Southern College, earning a BA in English in 1964. Deciding that journalism would be more exciting than graduate school, Raines worked for the Birmingham Post-Herald from 1964 to 1965. He was a staff writer for a Birmingham television station, WBRC-TV, from 1965 to 1967. A member of the US Army National Guard, Raines was called to active duty for six months in 1967. In 1968, he enrolled at the University of Alabama, working on a master’s degree in English (which was awarded in 1973). He also worked at the Tuscaloosa News from 1968 to 1969. To support his wife and children, he quit the News and worked briefly in his family’s store-fixture business as a plant foreman. From 1970 to 1971, Raines was the film critic for The Birmingham News.

In 1971, Raines went to Atlanta to work for The Atlanta Constitution. He became the political editor in 1974, a few months before quitting to write full time. He wrote freelance articles and worked on a novel and a collection of civil rights movement oral histories. Raines returned to journalism in 1976, when he became the political editor of the St. Petersburg [Fla.] Times. The two books he had been working on, Whiskey Man and My Soul Is Rested, were published the following year. In 1978, Raines joined The New York Times. He worked for the Times for twenty-five years, rising from National Correspondent to Executive Editor. Raines won the Pulitzer Prize in 1992 for his essay about his family’s maid, Grady Hutchinson, and his introduction to the injustices of the segregated South. In 2003, Raines left The New York Times in the wake of a plagiarism scandal involving a reporter on the newsroom staff. He left New York and moved to Pennsylvania where he has resumed his career as a writer.

Interests and Themes

Howell Raines’s books include a collection of oral histories about the Southern civil rights movement, a novel set in rural Alabama, and two memoirs.

For More Information

Please check your local library for these materials. If items are not available locally, your librarian can help you borrow them through the InterLibrary Loan program. Your librarian can also help you find other information about this author.

There may be more information available through the databases in the Alabama Virtual Library. If you are an Alabama citizen, AVL can be used at your public library or school library media center. You can also get a username and password from your librarian to use AVL at home.

Reference Articles

Reference Book Chapters and Encyclopedia Entries

Reference Web Sites

Photo courtesy of Scribner.

Last updated on May 30, 2008.

Copyright © 2019 University of Alabama Libraries. All rights reserved.