James Dickey

From Academic Kids

James Dickey (February 2, 1923 - January 19, 1997) was a popular United States poet and novelist.

He was born in Atlanta, Georgia, to a lawyer, Eugene Dickey, and his wife, Maibelle Swift Dickey. He attended North Fulton High School in Buckhead, an Atlanta suburb.

Dickey served in the U.S. Army in the Second World War, and in the U.S. Air force during the Korean war. Between the wars, he attended Vanderbilt University, graduating with degrees in English and Philosophy, as well as achieving a minor in astronomy. In November 1948, he married Marries Maxine Syerson, and his son, Christopher, was born three years later.

His first book, Into the Stone, was published in 1962.

His popularity exploded after the film version of his novel Deliverance, starring Burt Reynolds, was released in 1972. Dickey played a supporting role in the film as a sheriff.

The poet was invited to read his poem "The Strength of Fields" at President Jimmy Carter's inauguration in 1977.

James Dickey died four days after his last class at the University of South Carolina, where he'd been teaching. Dickey spent a few years in and out of hospital, afflicted with first jaundice and later fibrosis of the lungs.

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