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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release December 19, 1999


Hillary and I are deeply saddened by the passing of C. Vann Woodward, one the most important and influential historians of our time. A native of Arkansas, Woodward not only wrote about history, he helped shape it. From living through and witnessing the era of Jim Crow to marching on Selma for racial justice, he brought a unique perspective to the teaching and analysis of southern history. While in the eyes of most, he will best be remembered for his many books, his Pulitzer prize and his long and distinguished teaching career, I believe his greatest gift was his tenacious pursuit of the truth and his warm and generous spirit. Dr. King once called one of Woodward's books the historical Bible of the Civil Rights movement. His work influenced generations of southern historians and social activists and had a major impact on my own thinking. All Americans should look to the life and work of C. Vann Woodward, as we rededicate ourselves to building One America in the 21st century. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.