Taylor Branch
Author, 'The King Years: Historic Moments in the Civil Rights Movement'

Taylor Branch is an author best known for his trilogy about the civil rights era. Its first volume, Parting the Waters, won the Pulitzer Prize in 1989. Other books include The Clinton Tapes (2009), about his secret project to gather a sitting president’s oral history, and The Cartel (2011), an ebook expanded from the Atlantic cover story that NPR’s Frank Deford said “may well be the most important article ever written about college sports.”

Branch’s latest book, The King Years: Historic Moments in the Civil Rights Movement (2013), presents eighteen key episodes from his trilogy with new introductions. For the spring 2013 semester at the University of Baltimore, he is teaching an experimental online seminar built around this compact narrative.

Aside from writing, Taylor Branch speaks before a variety of audiences. He has discussed doctrines of nonviolence with prisoners at San Quentin and with military officers at the National War College. His 2008 address at the National Cathedral marked the 40th anniversary of Dr. King’s last Sunday sermon from that pulpit.

He began his career in 1970 as a staff journalist for The Washington Monthly. His musical sidelights span the Atlanta Boy Choir in the 1950s and a contemporary octet for spirituals. In 2006, he and two friends reconstituted their college band as the cover group Off Our Rocker, which released two CDs in playful tribute to the Beatles. Sample tracks and an updated literary archive are available on the website, www.taylorbranch.com.