Letter to the Editor

Admires author

Monday, July 31, 2017

Dear Editor,

David McCullough is a two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize as well as the Presidential Freedom Medal.

His first book was the Johnstown Flood, published in 1968. He narrated numerous TV documentaries such as the Civil War by Ken Burns.

Biographies of Harry Truman and John Adams earned McCullough the Pulitzer Price. ABC used them for a miniseries.

He was born in 1933 in Pittsburgh, Pa. While he was growing up, McCullough had aspirations of being an actor, painter, lawyer, physician or an architect.

In 1951, he enrolled at Yale University. Faculty members had a big influence on his choice of careers. He earned a bachelor's degree in English and graduated with honors in English literature. Sometimes he ate lunch with the playwright and novelist Thomas Wilder. He was told by Wilder not to let the reader anticipate the outcome, even if the book was non-fiction.

Publishers were impressed by his book, The Johnstown Flood, and offered him contracts to write about the famous Chicago Fire and the devastating San Francisco earthquake.

Sports Illustrated hire him after he graduated. Later, he worked as an editor for the U.S. Information Agency in Washington, D.C.

He uncovered facts about the worst flood in U.S. history. It was known as the Johnstown Flood. His book about it was published in 1968.

I wonder what he would write concerning our terrible 1935 flood in Southwest Nebraska.

President Jimmy Carter said that [relinquishment of] U.S. ownership of the Panama Canal would have never happened without McCullough's "Path Between Seas" published in 1977.

"Mornings on Horseback" by McCullough was written about Teddy Roosevelt and published in 1981. (This one the second U.S. National Book Award that he received.)

I am a descendant of Thomas Hancock, born in Exeter Devonshire, England in 1506. I wonder what McCullough would say concerning John Hancock, who is also a descendant of that Welshman.

The British said John Hancock was a nuisance when he signed the Declaration of Independence. They charged him with piracy when his merchant ships sailed to Spain to trade for essential items needed by the American Patriots.

King George III wanted to hang him. I am glad to claim John as a distant cousin and that the king didn't get his way.

Helen Ruth Arnold,

Trenton, Neb.

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