Foote Leaves a Written Legacy

By: The Associated Press
By: The Associated Press

Shelby Foote, who relied on a storyteller's touch to present his history of the Civil War, has died in Memphis. He was 88.

Foote's death was confirmed Tuesday by his widow, Gwen, who said the writer died Monday night.

Foote's three-volume history of the war landed him a leading role in an eleven-hour documentary for the Public Broadcasting System. It first aired in 1990 and made him a favorite of public TV viewers.

Foote once told The Associated Press in an interview that he couldn't conceive of writing the Civil War history any other way than in the flowing narrative it became. Foote also wrote six novels.

Though hardly a recluse, Foote had long been known around Memphis as having little interest in cocktail parties and public gatherings. He said most people are "gigantic bores" and said there was no need to subject one's self to "that kind of thing."

Foote was born Nov. 7, 1916, in Greenville, Mississippi. He was a long-time resident of Memphis.


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