Entries - Time Period: Modern Era (1968 - the Present) - Starting with H

Haley, George Williford Boyce

George Williford Boyce Haley was a U.S. ambassador, politician, civil rights activist, attorney, and policy analyst. He was one of the first African-American students to attend the University of Arkansas (UA) in Fayetteville (Washington County) since Reconstruction. He was also one of the first African Americans elected to the Kansas Senate. George Haley was born to Simon Haley and Bertha Haley in the small western Tennessee town of Henning on August 28, 1925. He had two brothers, one of whom, Alex, wrote the bestselling book Roots. His mother died when he was six years old. The family later moved to Pine Bluff (Jefferson County), where, in 1939, Haley’s father accepted a position as head of the agriculture department at AM&N …

Halfway from Hoxie [Book]

Published in 1973, Halfway from Hoxie: New and Selected Poems was Miller Williams’s fifth collection of poetry. This volume contains seventeen new poems and fifty-three poems from three of his earlier collections: A Circle of Stone (1964), So Long at the Fair (1968), and The Only World There Is (1971). Although Halfway from Hoxie presented a limited amount of new material, it fulfilled its stated purpose of providing “a tentative summary of [Williams’s] creative development during the past decade and a half.” Halfway from Hoxie confirms Williams’s growing stature as a poet. By 1973, he had served as editor of the New Orleans Review and had received the Henry Bellamann Award (1957), the Breadloaf Writers Conference Fellowship (1961), and the …

Hall-Trujillo, Kathryn

Kathryn Hall-Trujillo is a public health expert and advocate who focuses on healthcare for African-American women. Best known for founding Birthing Project USA, “Mama Katt,” as she has been affectionately called, was named a 2010 hero by the CNN television network for her work with at-risk mothers and babies. She is a member of the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame. Kathryn Hall-Trujillo was born on July 19, 1948, in Moscow (Jefferson County), a small town near Pine Bluff (Jefferson County). Her mother’s name was Corrine. She has said that her grandmother was her mentor. She said of her childhood, “Even though I came from a family that was poor, I came from a very good family; we loved one another …

Hall, B. C.

Baxter Clarence (B. C.) Hall Jr. was an author and teacher whose novels and books on Southern myth and culture attracted wide readership in the last half of the twentieth century. Hall usually wrote under the name B. C. Hall. His best-known books were the novels The Burning Season, Nashville Lady, and Keepers of the Feast, and three nonfiction works on which he collaborated with writer friends C. T. Wood and Bob Lancaster. He also wrote numerous pulp-fiction novels, sometimes cynically referred to as “bodice rippers,” under pseudonyms like Julia French. B. C. Hall was born at St. James (Stone County) on June 9, 1936, the youngest of nine children of Baxter Clarence “Bunk” Hall and Hattie Camellia Younger “Dutch” …

Halter, Bill

William Amos (Bill) Halter served as Arkansas’s lieutenant governor. He had previously worked as a congressional staffer and served in the administration of President Bill Clinton. He is most known for promoting the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery. Bill Halter was born on November 30, 1960, in North Little Rock (Pulaski County). His father, William Halter, was a businessman and his mother, Nancy Halter, a nurse. Raised and educated in Little Rock (Pulaski County), Halter was valedictorian of the class of 1979 at Little Rock Catholic High School. He received his undergraduate degree in economics and political science from Stanford University in 1983. He then studied in England as a Rhodes Scholar, earning an economics degree from Oxford University in 1986. Returning …

Hamilton, George Stevens

George Stevens Hamilton is an American film, stage, and television actor widely known for his dashing good looks, jet-setting image, and trademark tan. Hamilton has extensive film and television credits spanning nearly six decades. Born on August 12, 1939, in Memphis, Tennessee, and raised in Blytheville (Mississippi County), George Hamilton is the son of touring bandleader George William “Spike” Hamilton and Southern socialite Ann Stevens of Blytheville. Hamilton’s early years were spent in Blytheville, where his mother’s parents also resided. In addition to an older brother from his mother’s previous marriage, Hamilton also had a younger brother. According to his memoir, the boys lived an idyllic life in small-town Blytheville and enjoyed a close relationship with their grandparents. In 1944, …

Hamilton, Laurell K.

A pioneer for strong female protagonists crossing multiple genres, New York Times bestselling author Laurell K. Hamilton has written more than thirty novels, including over twenty in her “Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter” series and nine in her “Merry Gentry” series. Hamilton’s “Anita Blake” series has had more than six million copies printed in sixteen languages and has also been converted into a Marvel graphic novel series. Hamilton has also written numerous short stories, a Star Trek novel titled Nightshade, and a tie-in novel for the Ravenloft setting of the Dungeons and Dragons role-playing series. Hamilton’s work contains elements of gothic horror, detective fiction, and erotica. Laurell K. Hamilton was born Laurell Kaye Klein on February 19, 1963, in Heber Springs …

Hamilton, Lawrence Olivier

Lawrence Olivier Hamilton was a Broadway star who appeared in such shows as Porgy and Bess, The Wiz, and Jelly’s Last Jam. He was inducted into the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame in 2003 and the Arkansas Entertainers Hall of Fame in 2005. Lawrence Hamilton was born on September 14, 1954, in Ashdown (Little River County), one of six children of Oscar Hamilton and Mae Dell Neal-Hamilton. He later lived in Foreman (Little River County). He attended Foreman Public Schools and took piano lessons from a woman who had been a friend of ragtime composer Scott Joplin. He studied music education (as well as piano and voice) at Henderson State University in Arkadelphia (Clark County), receiving a bachelor’s degree. In …

Hammerschmidt, John Paul

In 1966, John Paul Hammerschmidt, a native of Harrison (Boone County), became the first Republican elected to Congress from Arkansas since Reconstruction. He served Arkansas’s Third District for twenty-six years in Congress. His ability to relate to and serve the home population through effective casework management is perhaps his most lasting legacy. John Paul Hammerschmidt was born on May 4, 1922, in Harrison to Arthur Paul and Junie M. Hammerschmidt. Hammerschmidt was the fourth of five children. Both sets of grandparents migrated to Boone County in the early years of the twentieth century and were of German descent. His paternal grandfather began the Hammerschmidt Lumber Co., which his father and later Hammerschmidt himself managed. Hammerschmidt’s family settled in a modest …

Hampton, Dan

A defensive star for the Arkansas Razorbacks football team and for the Chicago Bears of the National Football League (NFL), Daniel Oliver Hampton earned the nickname “Danimal” for his intense style of play. Earning All-American honors in college and Pro-Bowl recognition during his professional career, Hampton is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, the University of Arkansas Sports Hall of Honor, and the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame. Dan Hampton was born on September 19, 1957, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, the son of Robert and Joan Hampton; he has an older brother and an older sister. In 1962, the family moved to a farm near Cabot (Lonoke County). Hampton’s father was an IBM customer engineer who chose …

Hampton, Sybil Jordan

Sybil Jordan Hampton has served as a higher education administrator, leader in philanthropy, and political advisor during her career. She was inducted into the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame in 2005. Sybil Jordan was born on September 1, 1944, in Springfield, Missouri, to Leslie W. Jordan and Lorraine H. Jordan. Her mother was a longtime educator, and her father was a World War II veteran who worked for the U.S. Postal Service. Jordan grew up in Little Rock (Pulaski County) under the Jim Crow system of racial segregation, drinking from “colored” water fountains and attending segregated schools. After the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas decision ruling that racial segregation in public education was unconstitutional, Little Rock …

Handy, Delores

Delores Handy became an award-winning African-American journalist, reporter, and news anchor. In a career spanning over four decades, Handy won four Emmy awards for her television work in Washington DC and Boston, Massachusetts. She was inducted into the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame in 2009. Delores Handy was born in Little Rock (Pulaski County) on April 7, 1947, to the Reverend George G. Handy Sr. and his first wife. She is the oldest of fourteen children—nine girls and five boys. George Handy Sr. pastored a Baptist church in North Little Rock (Pulaski County). Handy attended Horace Mann High School, with her interests including flag football and track and field. She graduated in 1965 and began college in the fall at …

Hannah, James Robert (Jim)

James Robert (Jim) Hannah was a popular jurist who, as chief justice, led the Arkansas Supreme Court through a tumultuous period early in the twenty-first century. Hannah, who was known for his dignity and soft-spoken leadership, spent more than thirty-six years as a trial court judge and Supreme Court justice. When deeply divisive political issues reached the court after his election as chief justice in 2004, however, he could not prevent a fracture among the justices. Jim Hannah was born on December 26, 1944, at the U.S. Naval Hospital in Long Beach, California, to Frank Alvin Hannah, who was an officer in the U.S. Navy, and Virginia Marie Stine Hannah. His father was stationed in California and Miami, Florida, in …

Hardin, Louis Thomas “Moondog”

aka: Louis T. Hardin
Louis Thomas “Moondog” Hardin Jr. grew up and learned to play the piano in Independence County. He later became a musician and composer admired in jazz, classical, and rock circles. He was also known for living on Manhattan streets dressed as a Viking and banging a drum. Louis Hardin was born on May 26, 1916, in Marysville, Kansas, the son of an Episcopal minister, Louis Thomas Hardin Sr., and Norma Alves, a homemaker and teacher. He had one sister and one brother. The family moved around the Midwest when he was young. Playing tom-tom at a Wyoming Arapaho dance at a young age fostered a life-long affection for Native American rhythms. As an adult, Hardin performed with the Blackfoot tribe. While …

Harding, Thomas, III

Thomas Harding III was a successful commercial photographer and an internationally recognized, fine art pinhole photographer. Thomas Harding was born on July 7, 1911, in Little Rock (Pulaski County) to Thomas Harding and Mary Rice. Both his father and grandfather were architects. Harding graduated from Little Rock Senior High School (now Central High School) in 1929 and then attended Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. After two years, he found that college studies in architecture did not interest him. He dutifully returned to Little Rock to work at his father’s architectural firm, Thomas Harding Architect, until his photography talents surfaced. Harding joined the U.S. Army Air Corps in 1942 and was stationed in Italy’s Allied Headquarters during World War II. Although …

Harington, Donald

Donald Douglas Harington has been described by Entertainment Weekly as “America’s greatest unknown writer.” He published more than fifteen books that brought him critical recognition but little in the way of commercial success. His novels, usually set in the fictional Ozark town of Stay More, make up an interconnected body of fiction not unlike William Faulkner’s works about Yoknapatawpha County. Critics have seen in his work the influences of other major world writers such as Gabriel García Márquez and Vladimir Nabokov. In his works, Harington combines the folklore and folk life of the Ozark region with modernist and postmodernist techniques to create works that mix sex, comedy, and violence. Donald Harington was born on December 22, 1935, in Little Rock (Pulaski County) …

Harper, Tess

aka: Tessie Jean Washam
A Golden Globe and Academy Award nominee, Tess Harper has become a consummate actress known for portraying Southern women of grace and dignity. She is best known for roles in Tender Mercies and Silkwood. Tess Harper was born Tessie Jean Washam on August 15, 1950, in Mammoth Spring (Fulton County). She attended Arkansas State University–Beebe (ASU–Beebe), where she performed in several plays, as well as Southwest Missouri State University (now Missouri State University) in Springfield, where she graduated with a degree in education. She married Ken Harper in 1971; the couple divorced in 1976. In the late 1960s, Harper began acting in theater productions and made appearances in theme parks, dinner theater, children’s theater, and commercials. Her first feature film …

Harrell, Calvin F., Jr.

Calvin Harrell is ranked among the best football players in Arkansas State University (ASU) history. He played under renowned head coach Bennie Ellender at ASU, playing in three Pecan Bowls and on the undefeated national small college championship team in 1970. He is a member of the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame. Calvin F. Harrell Jr. was born on September 7, 1949, to Calvin F. Harrell and Miriam Virginia Harrell. His father was a sheet metal worker. He had three sisters and two brothers. After graduation from Trezevant High School in Memphis, Tennessee, as a star football player, he was recruited by ASU in Jonesboro (Craighead County) to play on the Indians (later renamed Red Wolves) football team. He was …

Harris, Charlaine

aka: Jean Charlaine Harris Schultz
Jean Charlaine Harris Schulz is a horror and mystery writer whose novels have a distinctive Southern setting and are often full of dark humor. Several of her “Southern Vampire” books have served as the basis for the HBO television series True Blood, which debuted in 2008. Charlaine Harris was born on November 25, 1951, in Tunica, Mississippi, to Robert Ashley, a school principal, and Jean Harris, a librarian. Harris received a BA in English from Southwestern in Memphis (now Rhodes College) in 1973. She married her first husband, an army veteran, immediately after college. The couple later divorced, and Harris married Hal Schulz, a chemical engineer, on August 5, 1978; they have three children. Harris worked many jobs before becoming …

Harris, Clifford Allen (Cliff)

Nicknamed “Captain Crash,” Clifford Allen Harris played as a free safety for the Dallas Cowboys. He has been inducted into the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Hall of Fame (1978), the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame (1985), the Ouachita Athletics Hall of Fame (2003), and the Pro Football Hall of Fame (2020). He is also a member of the National Football League 1970s All-Decade Team and the Cowboys Silver Season All-Time Team. Cliff Harris, one of three children (and the older of the two sons) of O. J. “Buddy” Harris and Margaret Harris, was born on November 12, 1948, in Fayetteville (Washington County). He began playing football in the ninth grade at Southwest Junior High School in Hot Springs …

Harris, E. Lynn

aka: Everette Lynn Harris
Everette Lynn Harris was a bestselling author of novels about African-American men in gay and bisexual relationships. In his nine novels, which have sold more than three million copies, the gay characters are “on the down low,” or have not publicized their sexuality. Harris, a black man, endured years of abuse at the hands of his stepfather and for years denied his own homosexuality. E. Lynn Harris was born on June 20, 1955, in Flint, Michigan, to Etta Mae Williams and James Jeter, who were unmarried. When Harris was three, he moved with his mother to Little Rock (Pulaski County), where she worked as a housekeeper. She soon married Ben Odis Harris, who helped raise Harris until he was thirteen, …

Harris, Ernest James

Ernest James Harris was an accomplished entomologist known for his work on breeding Biosteres arisanus, a species of wasp that parasitizes fruit fly eggs. Thanks to the work done by Harris, B. arisanus has been bred on a large scale for the purposes of pest eradication. More than twenty nations have adopted use of the “Harris strain” of the wasp for fruit fly eradication. Harris was inducted into the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame in 1999. Ernest J. Harris was born on May 24, 1928. His parents had a farm in North Little Rock (Pulaski County), where Harris’s interest in insects first developed. After graduation, he attended Arkansas AM&N (now the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff). There, he majored …

Harrison, Allie Cleveland

Allie Cleveland Harrison was a professor of the dramatic arts who, for more than four decades, made a mark in the development of the theater programs in the South through his work at Little Rock Junior College (now the University of Arkansas at Little Rock), the University of Arkansas (UA) in Fayetteville (Washington County), and Alabama’s Auburn University. Harrison was also an award-winning memoirist. Cleveland Harrison was born on August 17, 1924, in McRae (White County). The younger son of Allie Harrison and Floy Harrison, he served in the U.S. Army during World War II, at one time being stationed in Berlin, Germany. Upon his return to the United States, he earned an AA degree from Little Rock Junior College; …

Harrison, William Floyd Nathaniel

William Floyd Nathaniel Harrison was an obstetrician/gynecologist, abortion provider, congressional candidate, and author. During his career, he became locally and nationally known as an outspoken pro-choice physician. Born on September 8, 1935, in Vilonia (Faulkner County), William Harrison was the fourth of Benjamin G. Harrison and Mattie E. Powell Harrison’s five children. His parents were teachers. His family attended both Methodist and Baptist churches. Educated in the public schools, he attended Arkansas State Teachers College (now the University of Central Arkansas) in Conway (Faulkner County) in the early 1950s but did not complete a degree. He served in the U.S. Navy in the late 1950s. Entering the University of Arkansas (UA) in Fayetteville (Washington County) in 1959, he studied pre-medicine and graduated in 1963. …

Harrison, William Neal

aka: William Neal Harrison
Novelist William Neal Harrison established the Creative Writing Program in the Department of English at the University of Arkansas (UA) in Fayetteville (Washington County) in 1966. As advisor to the university literary magazine, he actively opposed censorship and defended academic freedom. However, he is probably best known for writing the screenplay to the 1975 movie Rollerball, based upon his short story. William Harrison was born on October 29, 1933, in Dallas, Texas, the son of Samuel Scott Harrison and Mary Etta (Cook) Harrison. He received a BA in 1955 from Texas Christian University and an MA in 1959 from Vanderbilt University. Harrison attended Iowa State University’s Creative Writing Program. He married Merlee Portland on February 2, 1957; the couple have …

Hartman, Ena

Ena Hartman is an unsung trailblazer of Hollywood whose smaller roles in 1960s media productions helped create a path for African Americans in film and television. African-American actresses working in the 1970s benefited from the trail Hartman helped blaze. Ena Hartman was born on April 1, 1935, in Moscow (Jefferson County). The daughter of sharecroppers, she was raised by her grandparents. At age thirteen, she moved to Buffalo, New York, to live with her mother. She dropped out of high school to open a restaurant, handling the duties of cook and waitress as she tried to earn money to go to New York City to become a model. She was discovered by a photographer in the lobby of a modeling …

Hatfield, Lester Gene

Lester Gene Hatfield was an artist and teacher closely associated with the University of Central Arkansas (UCA) and Conway (Faulkner County). He made paintings in watercolor, oil, acrylic, and sculpture. His best-known work was the transformation of the yard of his Conway home into an art environment, the result of more than forty years of working with junk and recycled objects. His sculpture combined aesthetic values from art movements such as surrealism with qualities of folk art, while his paintings and watercolors were done in the tradition of late-nineteenth-century artists such as Paul Cézanne. His long tenure as an art teacher at UCA was an important contribution to Arkansas’s art culture. Gene Hatfield was born on November 23, 1925, in …

Hathcock, Carlos Norman “Gunny,” II

Gunnery Sergeant Carlos Norman Hathcock II is believed to have attained the highest number of recorded kills in the history of the United States Marine Corps (USMC). Known to his fellow soldiers as “Gunny,” Hathcock had ninety-three confirmed kills as a sniper during the Vietnam War. Others have had more confirmed kills, but his actual total is estimated to be more than 300. He was also instrumental in establishing the Marine Corps Scout/Sniper School at Quantico, Virginia, and helped plan its syllabus. Carlos Hathcock was born on May 20, 1942, in North Little Rock (Pulaski County), the only child of Carlos and Agnes Hathcock. He was fond of firearms from an early age, playing with a non-operating war relic Mauser …

Hawkins, Dale

aka: Delmar Allen Hawkins
Delmar Allen (Dale) Hawkins Jr., a member of the Rockabilly Hall of Fame, specialized in creating a sound (called “Swamp Rock” by some) that helped shape rock and roll music. Hawkins was successful in many roles in the music industry: singer, songwriter, recording artist, producer, arranger, band leader, musician, TV host, disc jockey, and promoter. Billboard magazine lists Hawkins’s Suzie Q album in its Top 100 most valuable albums in the development of rock and roll. His first cousin, Ronnie Hawkins, rose to fame with the musical group the Band. Different sources have reported different birth dates for Hawkins (given the practice in the 1950s for promoters to alter birth dates to make their clients more appealing to a younger …

Hayes, Morris Kevin

Arkansas native Morris Hayes is a talented musician, producer, and band leader. As a keyboardist, Hayes has worked with superstars such as Prince, George Clinton, Elton John, Whitney Houston, and Stevie Wonder. He was one of the 2013 inductees into the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame. Morris Kevin Hayes was born on November 28, 1962, in the small town of Jefferson (Jefferson County), just outside Pine Bluff (Jefferson County). He was inspired by the religious music he heard in church as a child. He majored in art at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB). When a rhythm and blues (R&B) band on campus lost its keyboard player, Hayes—who had learned to play a bit in high school—offered to …

Hays, Marion Steele

Steele Hays was a lawyer—and son of one of Arkansas’s most enduring and successful politicians—who spent the last fourteen years of his long legal career as a justice of the Arkansas Supreme Court. His father, Brooks Hays, a Democratic congressman from Arkansas, was renowned in the post–World War II years for his moderation in the struggle over racial segregation in the South. Steele Hays was more avowedly liberal on race and other issues, dissenting alone from upholding the death sentence on every such case that came before the Supreme Court. Marion Steele Hays was born on March 25, 1925, in Little Rock (Pulaski County), one of two children of Brooks Hays and Marion Prather Hays. He was named after his mother …

Hays, Skip

aka: Donald Slaven Hays
Arkansas author Donald Slaven “Skip” Hays has published novels and short stories as well as edited an anthology of Southern short stories. He served as director of the Programs in Creative Writing at the University of Arkansas (UA) in Fayetteville (Washington County) from 1998 to 2013. Hays is most noted for his novel The Dixie Association, written in 1984 and reprinted as part of the Louisiana State University Press’s series Voices of the South (1997). Skip Hays was born in Jacksonville, Florida, on June 14, 1947. His father, Donald E. Hays, a chief petty officer in the U.S. Navy during World War II, returned to Arkansas with his family to farm and work in a furniture factory. His mother, Mary Slaven …

Heifer International

Headquartered in Little Rock (Pulaski County), Heifer International is a non-profit organization whose mission is to work with communities to end hunger and poverty and to care for the earth. Since its founding in 1944, Heifer International has, through gifts of livestock and training, assisted eight and a half million families in more than 125 countries and thirty-eight U.S. states, including Arkansas. Heifer International was founded by Dan West, an Indiana farmer and peacemaker. As a relief worker in an effort organized by three peace churches—the Society of Friends (Quakers), the Mennonites, and the Brethren—during the Spanish Civil War, West doled out cups of powdered milk to children displaced by the war. Each day, he saw the same faces in …

Helm, Levon

aka: Mark Lavon Helm
Mark Lavon (Levon) Helm was best known as the drummer and singer for the Canadian rock group the Band. Following the demise of the Band, he continued to have a successful career leading his own band, as well as acting in numerous motion pictures. Levon Helm was born on May 26, 1940, outside Elaine (Phillips County) to Nell and Diamond Helm. He had two sisters and one brother. He grew up in Marvell (Phillips County) working on the family cotton farm but was always encouraged to play and sing music at home and in church. Helm knew that he wanted to become a musician at age six, after seeing bluegrass musician Bill Monroe perform. He began playing guitar at age eight …

Henderson, Charles Christopher

Charles Christopher Henderson was a businessman and philanthropist in southern Arkansas long associated with Arkadelphia Methodist College, which in 1904 was renamed Henderson College in honor of Henderson’s service on the board of trustees and his financial support. The school’s former campus operates as Henderson State University in the twenty-first century. Henderson’s 1906 Queen Anne–style home in Arkadelphia (Clark County) was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1998, listed as the Captain Charles Christopher Henderson House. Charles Henderson was born in Scott County on March 17, 1850, the third of eight children of John Henderson and Margaret Mahalia Reed Henderson. The family lived in both Scott and Sebastian counties during his childhood. Henderson was fourteen years old …

Henderson, Jeffrey Todd (Jeff)

While competing for Sylvan Hills High School in Sherwood (Pulaski County), Jeffrey Todd (Jeff) Henderson became one of the top track and field athletes in Arkansas, excelling in the long jump. As a collegiate athlete, he developed into one of the top long jumpers in the United States. In 2016, he won the gold medal at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, becoming the second Arkansas-connected athlete to win in the long jump. Jeff Henderson was born in North Little Rock (Pulaski County) on February 19, 1989, to Laverne Henderson and Debra Henderson; he was raised in McAlmont (Pulaski County). He is the youngest of five children. Henderson played football while at Sylvan Hills High School, but by his …

Hendricks, Barbara Ann

Barbara Hendricks is an internationally recognized leading lyric soprano. Whether performing light soprano roles in traditional operatic repertory, demanding premieres of twentieth-century vocal music, song recitals, or jazz, Hendricks has been recognized as a leading artist since the mid-1970s. In addition, she is recognized internationally for her work for human rights and world peace. Barbara Hendricks was born on November 20, 1948, in Stephens (Ouachita County). The child of a Methodist minister, she lived in various small towns in Arkansas and Tennessee. She graduated from Horace Mann High School in Little Rock (Pulaski County). She enrolled at Lane College in Jackson, Tennessee, and transferred to the University of Nebraska as a chemistry major. She graduated in 1969 with a BS …

Henley, Jesse Smith

Jesse Smith Henley presided over a number of desegregation cases but was most noted for reforming the state prison system and being the first federal judge in the country to declare an entire state penitentiary in violation of the Eighth Amendment. J. Smith Henley was born on May 18, 1917, in St. Joe (Searcy County) into a family of lawyers. He had an older brother named Ben and a sister named Wordna (or Wardna). Far from a model student, Henley never formally graduated from high school and seems to have been thrown out of college once. However, he did earn his law degree at the University of Arkansas School of Law in Fayetteville (Washington County) in 1941. He practiced law …

Henry, Orville Monroe, Jr.

Orville Monroe Henry Jr., the best-known newspaper sportswriter in Arkansas history, worked for the state’s two largest newspapers, the Arkansas Gazette and the Arkansas Democrat (later the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette). Although he covered other sports, he is most identified with writing about Arkansas Razorbacks football at the University of Arkansas (UA) in Fayetteville (Washington County). Orville Henry was born in Little Rock (Pulaski County) on February 19, 1925. His father, Orville Monroe Henry Sr., was a traveling salesman who later became a farmer; his mother, Frances, raised eight children and took care of a very active home. When Henry was in the ninth grade at Pulaski Heights Junior High, he decided he wanted to be a newspaperman and worked on the …

Heritage House Museum of Montgomery County

Located in Mount Ida (Montgomery County), the Heritage House Museum of Montgomery County (HHMMC) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, officially incorporated in 1998. The museum is the culmination of R. R. (Dick) Whittington’s dream of a repository of artifacts, archives, and photographs to honor the history and heritage of Montgomery County. The Whittingtons were one of the families who settled this west-central Arkansas county, and members of each generation documented and recorded bits of local history. Dick Whittington perpetuated the family’s keen interest in the past and, in the early 1970s, began recording interviews with locals regarding people, events, customs, and conditions of the past. A core group of interested county residents began researching and developing the organization of the …

Hess, Joan Edmiston

aka: Joan Hadley
A prolific writer from northwestern Arkansas, Joan Edmiston Hess was the author of dozens of mystery novels for adults and young adults. Known for her humor and use of regional flair, she wrote novels that feature a recognizable southern landscape of characters. The books are often narrated by wry, no-nonsense characters who are worldly in their knowledge and experience but also down to earth. Joan Edmiston was born on January 6, 1949, in Fayetteville (Washington County) to Jack D. Edmiston, a wholesale grocer, and Helen Edmiston, a building contractor. She attended high school in Fayetteville. She received a BA in art from the University of Arkansas (UA) in Fayetteville in 1971 and an MA in education from Long Island University …

Hickman, Darrell David

Darrell David Hickman spent almost twenty-two years as a trial-court judge and justice of the Arkansas Supreme Court. Hickman, who grew up in Searcy (White County), was first elected chancery judge in a district that stretched to Little Rock (Pulaski County) and was elected twice to the Arkansas Supreme Court before retiring in 1990 to follow the seasons and travel from the Canadian Rockies to Mexico and back. He soon returned to Searcy and the town of Pangburn (White County), where he served two more stints as a chancery or circuit judge. Hickman had a propensity for issuing convulsive orders, such as when he declared the Constitutional Convention of 1975 unconstitutional, and for writing colorful opinions, such as when he …

Hicks, Bill

Bill Hicks was an American stand-up comedian and social critic in the tradition of Lenny Bruce and Richard Pryor. While he achieved only limited commercial success in his short lifetime, most of it in Great Britain, he is now regarded as one of the most influential American comedians of the twentieth century. With intellectual influences as wide-ranging as psychiatrist Carl Jung and linguist/political critic Noam Chomsky, Hicks married the middle-brow philosophical meandering of Woody Allen with the lacerating moral clarity of an Old Testament prophet. As a motion in the British House of Commons made on the tenth anniversary of his death declared, Hicks “may be mentioned as being worth[y] of inclusion with Lenny Bruce in any list of unflinching …

Hicks, Dan

Daniel Ivan Hicks was a cross-genre singer/songwriter specializing in a type of music he referred to as “folk jazz.” He served as front man for his band, the Hot Licks, off and on since 1968. Dan Hicks was born on December 9, 1941, in Little Rock (Pulaski County), the only child of Ivan L. Hicks—a career military man—and Evelyn Kehl Hicks. The family moved to northern California when Hicks was five years old. The family settled in Santa Rosa, and Hicks resided in the area north of San Francisco for the rest of his life. Hicks started playing drums in grade school and played snare drum in his high school marching band. At age fourteen, he was accompanying high school …

Hildreth, James Earl King

James Earl King Hildreth, a leading HIV/AIDS researcher, is dean of University of California–Davis College of Biological Sciences. Previously, he was employed by Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee, where he was director for the Center for AIDS Health Disparities Research; program director of the Research Centers in Minority Institutions; director of the Meharry Center for Translational Research; associate director at the Vanderbilt-Meharry Center for AIDS Research; and professor of internal medicine, microbiology, and immunology. At the Center for AIDS Health Disparities Research, he worked on a cream that kills the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). James Earl Hildreth was born in Camden (Ouachita County) on December 27, 1956, to Lucy and R. J. Hildreth. He is the youngest of seven …

Hill Wheatley Downtowner Motor Lodge

aka: Springs Hotel
The Hill Wheatley Downtowner Motor Inn, located at 135 Central Avenue in downtown Hot Springs (Garland County), was constructed in the mid-1960s in the Modernist style of architecture by the noted Little Rock (Pulaski County) firm of Eichenbaum and Erhart. The hotel, built by Hot Springs real estate magnate Hill Wheatley, thrived during the late 1960s and the 1970s as one of only a few buildings in the downtown area to have a Modernist design. It became the Springs Hotel in 2006 and is on the National Register of Historic Places. Construction on the ten-story building began in 1963 and was completed at a cost of $2 million. It was part of a construction boom in Hot Springs during the …

Hill, Jack Edward

Jack Hill was a broadcast journalist and documentary filmmaker who won national awards with station KAIT in Jonesboro (Craighead County) and eventually founded his own company in Little Rock (Pulaski County) to produce some sixty long-form features. Jack Hill was born in Rogers (Benton County), the only child of William Radus Hill and Grace Fields Hill. He attended Rogers High School, graduating in 1958 as senior class president. As a junior, in 1957, he played forward for the school’s only state champion basketball team. At the University of Arkansas (UA) in Fayetteville (Washington County), he majored in speech, participated in the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) program, and served as chaplain of his Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity chapter. After obtaining …

Hill, Julia Lorraine “Butterfly”

Julia Lorraine “Butterfly” Hill is an environmentalist, poet, writer, educator, speaker, and founder of the organization Circle of Life. She earned international fame as an environmental activist by protecting an old-growth forest in northern California from clear-cutting by a logging company. To prevent the logging, she lived in one of the trees—a 1,000-year-old redwood known as “Luna”—for 738 days until an agreement was reached with the Pacific Lumber Company. Julia Butterfly Hill was born on February 18, 1974, in Mount Vernon, Missouri, to Dale Edward Hill, a traveling minister, and Kathleen Anne DelGallo; she has two brothers. Her parents later divorced. Until she was ten, Hill lived in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, where her parents had started a church called Freedom Chapel. …

Hill, Mars Andrew, III

At the age of seventy-five, retired engineer Mars Andrew Hill III published a well-received coming-of-age novel, The Moaner’s Bench (1998). The novel draws heavily on Hill’s own childhood as an African American growing up during the 1920s and 1930s in rural Arkansas. Mars Hill was born into a prosperous merchant-class family in Pine Bluff (Jefferson County). His father owned a grocery store and forest land. When his father died of complications from diabetes, the eleven-year-old Hill was placed in the care of his wealthy uncle. At the age of fourteen, Hill moved to Chicago, Illinois, to live with his maternal aunt. After serving in the U.S. Army during World War II, he completed a degree in architectural engineering at the …

Hill, Thomas Lionel

Thomas Lionel Hill is a track and field star, who, as a student at Arkansas State University (ASU), was ranked number one in the world in the high hurdles by Track and Field News. After graduating from ASU, he claimed the bronze medal in the 110-meter hurdles at the 1972 Olympic Games. Tom Hill was born on November 17, 1949, in New Orleans, Louisiana, one of five sons of Mattie Hill, who was a domestic worker. He grew up in the Magnolia Housing Project and attended Walter L. Cohen High School in New Orleans. In high school, Hill participated in track and field, competing particularly in the high jump and long jump. As a senior, he took third place in …