Gerald Lyn Early

Washington University in St. Louis
Literary and culture scholar; Educator
Humanities and Arts
Literature and Language Studies

Gerald Early is the Merle Kling Professor of Modern Letters in the Department of English at Washington University in St. Louis, where he joined the faculty in 1982. He is the author of several books, including The Culture of Bruising: Essays on Prizefighting, Literature, and Modern American Culture (1994), for which he won the 1994 National Book Critics Circle Award for Criticism; This is Where I Came In: Black America in the 1960s (2003); One Nation Under a Groove: Motown and American Culture (2004); and A Level Playing Field: African American Athletes and the Republic of Sports (Alain Locke Lecture Series) (2011). He is also the editor of numerous volumes, including Miles Davis and American Culture (2001), The Sammy Davis, Jr. Reader (2001), Best African American Fiction (2009 and 2010), and Best African American Essays (2009 and 2010). He served as a consultant on Ken Burns’s documentary films on baseball, jazz, Jack Johnson, World War II, and the Roosevelts. In August 2013, President Barack Obama appointed Early to a five-year term as a member of the National Council on the Humanities. He was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1997 and has served as Chair of the Academy’s Council. 

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