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Laurence Leamer
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Laurence Leamer has written many bestsellers, including The Kennedy Women, The Kennedy Men and Sons of Camelot. He lives in Washington, D.C. and Palm Beach, Florida. His new book, The Lynching: How a White Southern Lawyer Destroyed the United Klans of America, will be published next May. His play Rose, about the Kennedy matriarch will open for previews at the Clurman Theatre in New York on November 21, 2015. His website is

Entries by Laurence Leamer

Rosemary Kennedy: The Cofounder of Special Olympics

(2) Comments | Posted October 14, 2015 | 12:42 PM

When I was writing The Kennedy Women, my multi-generational history of five generations of Kennedy women, I became close to Eunice Kennedy Shriver. Whenever I mentioned her sister Rosemary, Mrs. Shriver tensed up and I soon learned that I had to be extraordinarily sensitive if I were going to bring...

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Nepal and Baltimore

(0) Comments | Posted May 4, 2015 | 3:59 PM

So much of my life has died before I have. Those two years in the mid sixties in Peace Corps Nepal were in many respects the greatest years of my life. I trekked across half the country. I was fluent in the language. I loved the culture and the people....

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George Wallace Jr's Attack on Selma

(0) Comments | Posted January 16, 2015 | 12:34 PM

I have just finished work on a book tentatively titled The Darkest Valley about three iconic Southern men: Governor George Wallace, Klan leader Robert Shelton, and civil rights lawyer Morris Dees. The book focuses on the 1981 lynching of Michael Donald in Mobile, Alabama. In the course of my research,...

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Morris Dees and the Kansas City Murders

(0) Comments | Posted April 14, 2014 | 2:51 PM

For the past year, I have been writing a book about three iconic men of the South -- Governor George Wallace, Klan Grand Wizard Robert Shelton and civil rights lawyer Morris Dees. The book culminates in 1981 when members of Shelton's Klan lynched 19-year-old Michael Donald in Mobile, Alabama.

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Are Union Leaders Richard Trumka and Cecil Roberts Murderers?

(2) Comments | Posted May 24, 2013 | 5:41 PM

As Don Blankenship faces a likely federal indictment, the former CEO of coal giant Massey Energy is flailing out on his website against his enemies. He has accused the leadership of the United Mine Workers of possibly hiring a contract killer who murdered a strike breaking coal truck...

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Two Lawyers Epic Struggle Goes On

(0) Comments | Posted April 22, 2013 | 5:32 PM

Don Blankenship, the chairman of Massey Energy, drove Hugh Caperton's Harman Mine into bankruptcy in 1998. Pittsburgh lawyers Dave Fawcett and Bruce Stanley took on Caperton's case on contingency and fought it with relentless tenacity. Over 14 years Caperton has become one of the greatest legal epics of modern times,...

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The Desperate Plight of Retired Coal Miners

(0) Comments | Posted February 28, 2013 | 5:20 PM

I got an email from David Miller, a retired West Virginia coal miner and former president of a United Mine Workers' local, that made me both sad and angry. "Myself and other retired and active miners got on a bus at the Ohio Valley Mall and went to St. Louis...

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Bruce Stanley's Got a Chip on His Shoulder

(0) Comments | Posted February 11, 2013 | 2:41 PM

Bruce Stanley's got an enormous chip on his shoulder that nothing can knock off. He's enraged that the legal and political system is his native state of West Virginia is so corrupt that the bad and the compromised often float to the top of the system while the true and...

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Catherine "Kitty" Houghton and The Preciousness of Life

(8) Comments | Posted February 6, 2013 | 11:21 AM

There is no greater gift than to know the preciousness of life. Once you realize it, every moment is enhanced and however long you live, you have a far longer life. Of all the people I have known, the person who grasped that essential fact the youngest and perhaps the...

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A Great Thanksgiving

(1) Comments | Posted November 21, 2012 | 5:00 PM

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. For years, my wife Vesna and I have been going to my brother Bob's home in Chatham, New Jersey for the holiday. My 95-year-old mother lives near by and there usually are about twenty family members and friends.

But this year,...

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Three Cheers for the US Open

(0) Comments | Posted September 10, 2012 | 4:25 PM

February 11, 2015 -- I always considered tennis the most boring sport in the world, these guys standing in their shorts hitting the ball back and forth. I got interested in tennis for the first time when I was scrolling through the channels and caught the semifinals of the 2012...

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Mark Shriver's Wonderful Book On His Father

(2) Comments | Posted June 27, 2012 | 1:53 PM

Last month Mark Shriver sent me a copy of his new book, A Good Man, about his father, the late Sargent Shriver. "Dear Larry, Dad was so proud to call you a friend. I hope you enjoy his story," Mark wrote in an inscription.

Sarge had founded...

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The Poisoning of Justice

(2) Comments | Posted October 11, 2011 | 4:48 PM

Two weeks ago I stood in a long line waiting to get into a hearing in Charleston, West Virginia contesting a $35 million settlement in a case in which Rawl Sales, a Massey subsidiary, allegedly poisoned the water of 700 residents for scores of years. I've been down there talking...

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Arnold and Maria: Requiem for a Marriage

(23) Comments | Posted May 10, 2011 | 7:24 PM

In August 2003, Arnold Schwarzenegger announced his run for governor of California from that high altar of American politics, The Tonight Show. Shortly beforehand, the former number one star in the world met with David Pecker, the CEO of American Media, whose company owned the National Enquirer and Star, the...

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Novak Djokovic: The Pride of Serbia

(58) Comments | Posted January 30, 2011 | 6:17 PM

I am married to a Serbian-American woman, and I had little choice but to wake up at 3:30 A.M. Sunday morning to watch Novak Djokovic take on his longtime friend Andy Murray in the finals of the Australian Open. It was a very one-sided match with the number three player...

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Plugging a Weasel Hole in West Virginia

(31) Comments | Posted January 28, 2011 | 2:52 PM

Yesterday the West Virginia House of Delegates plugged what Associated Press news editor Brian Farkas called a "weasel hole." In doing so the elected officials by a unanimous vote asserted their rights as the people's representatives over a West Virginia Supreme Court corrupted by money and power. They...

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Sarge's Dream

(10) Comments | Posted January 19, 2011 | 8:45 AM

When I joined the Peace Corps in 1964, Sargent Shriver was my hero. I was stationed two days from a road in the mountains of the Himalayan kingdom and I never met the director of the Peace Corps. But he inspired me. He was "Sarge" to all of us, and...

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Cathleen McFarlane Ross: A Great Lady

(0) Comments | Posted February 11, 2010 | 3:09 PM

Cathleen McFarlane Ross liked to read the papers in bed. When she woke up Monday, she opened the pages of the Palm Beach Post to find that she was featured in the paper along with her picture looking regal and formidable. Cathleen did not so much lie about her age...

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Nepal's Horsemen of the Apocalypse: Concrete and Chemical Fertilizer

(0) Comments | Posted July 26, 2009 | 7:33 AM

This summer I am traveling around Nepal with a group of eight leaders from a village named Namje in eastern Nepal who are exploring what has happened to their country in the name of development. They are being led by Rajeev Goyal, an Indian-American who was a Peace Corps volunteer...

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Return to Shangri-La

(4) Comments | Posted July 19, 2009 | 7:13 AM

When I flew into Kathmandu in a Royal Airlines DC-3 in September of 1964, the old plane wheezed its way across the mountains and into the verdant high valley. I was a member of the fourth group of Peace Corps Volunteers to the mystical mountain kingdom. Nepal had been kept...

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