Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Birth Dates of Notable Kentuckians: February 28, 1928 - Walter Tevis

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From The Kentucky Encyclopedia -
Walter Stone Tevis, Jr., author of popular novels that made award-winning films, was born in San Francisco, on February 28, 1928, to Walter Stone and Anna Elizabeth (Bacon) Tevis. The Tevis family moved to Lexington, Kentucky, in 1938. After graduating from Model High School in Richmond, Kentucky, Tevis served in the U.S. Naval Reserve in the Pacific theater (1945-46). He received his A.B. in English at the University of Kentucky in 1949, then taught high school English in several Kentucky cities between 1950 and 1956: Science Hill, Hawesville, Carlisle, and Irvine. He was a part-time English instructor at the University of Kentucky from 1955 to 1956. In 1957 Tevis worked as an editor for the Kentucky Department of Highways. That same year he received his M.A. in English from the University of Kentucky . In September 1958, Tevis joined the faculty at the University of Kentucky's Northern Kentucky Center (now Northern Kentucky University ) in Covington.

By 1958 many of Tevis's short stories had been published in popular magazines. His first novel, The Hustler (1959), was made into a movie starring Paul Newman and Jackie Gleason. In 1961 he received a master of fine arts degree from the University of Iowa. Tevis spent the next year in Mexico, where he worked on his second novel, The Man Who Fell to Earth (1963). In 1976 it was made into a movie starring David Bowie. Between 1965 and 1978, Tevis taught creative writing at Ohio University. Throughout his teaching career, he wrote short stories and articles about playing pool and chess. In 1978 Tevis resigned from teaching and moved to New York City, where he completed the following novels: Mockingbird (1980), Far From Home (1981), The Queen's Gambit (1983), The Steps Of The Sun (1983), and The Color Of Money (1984). The last novel in 1986 became a movie starring Paul Newman and Tom Cruise.

Tevis and his first wife, Jamie Lewis (Griggs) Tevis, had two children: William Thomas and Julie Ann McGory. Shortly before his death, Tevis married Eleanora Walker. He died in New York on August 9, 1984, and was buried in Richmond, Kentucky.

Selected Sources from UK Libraries:

Tevis, Walter S. The Man Who Fell to Earth. New York: Bloomsbury, 2000. Print. Bloomsbury Film Classics. Original Novel.
PS3570.E95 M36 2000, Young Library - 5th Floor

Tevis, Walter S. The Hustler. New York: Dell, 1961. Print.
PS3570.E85 H8 1961, Special Collections Research Center

Tevis, Walter S. The Color of Money. Warner Books ed. New York: Warner, 1984. Print.
F T299CO 1984, Special Collections Research Center - Fiction Collection

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