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Ann Wood

Ann Wood

Female 1924 - 2010  (85 years)

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  • Name Ann Wood 
    Born 14 Dec 1924  Birmingham, Jefferson, Alabama, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Gender Female 
    SSN issued Bef 1951  Alabama, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Name Ann W Waldron  [1
    • Ann Waldron Author profile
      born Birmingham, Alabama, The United States
      genreMystery & Thrillers, Children's Books, Biographies & Memoirs

      About this author edit data
      Ann Waldron was born in Birmingham, Alabama and grew up on Cotton Avenue in West End. She went to Hemphill Grammar School and West End High School. She and her parents and older sister lived three blocks from the Vine Street Presbyterian Church, which they attended twice every Sunday and on Wednesday nights for prayer meeting. They spent summers on an 80-acre farm her parents owned in St. Clair County, near Cook Springs.

      Ann was co-editor of her high school newspaper (the principal decreed that, although she was able enough, she was too much of a discipline problem to be the editor in chief). She did become editor of the Crimson-White, the student newspaper at the University of Alabama, from which she graduated in 1945. She attended Hudson Strode's creative writing class at the university and appeared in Blackfriars plays.
      Her first job was with the Atlanta Constitution, where she was a reporter for two and a half years. It was there that she met her husband, Martin Waldron, who was then a student at Georgia Tech and who happened to see an advertisement for a copy boy's job on a bulletin board at Tech. He applied, got the job, and never looked back. He realized that he was destined to be a newspaper reporter, not an engineer, and he dropped out of Tech.

      Martin later finished college at Birmingham-Southern while he worked for the Birmingham Post-Herald. Ann worked on The Progressive Farmer magazine. When Martin was hired by the Tampa Tribune the Waldrons, with their two children, Peter and Lolly, moved to Florida, where Martin first covered the citrus industry in Lakeland, and then the state capitol in Tallahassee.

      The women's editor of the Tribune, knowing of Ann's journalistic experience, asked her to write a weekly feature on women in state government. By now there were two more children--Thomas William and Boojie (real name Martin Oliver Waldron III)--but she managed the one-day-a-week job happily. In fact, when she was in the hospital once, Martin wrote her column for her.

      In 1960, the St. Petersburg Times hired both of them, but let them stay in Tallahassee. Martin led the team that did the series of stories exposing corruption in the management of the Florida Turnpike Authority that won the Times a Pulitzer Prize for Community Service.
      Ann's column was still appearing in both the Times and the Miami Herald in 1965 when the New York Times hired Martin to open a bureau in Houston, Texas. The Waldrons moved to Houston, where Ann became book editor of the Houston Chronicle, and began writing children's books.

      In 1975, the Times transferred Martin to New York and the Waldrons settled in Princeton. "We looked at suburbs on Long Island, Westchester County, Monclair, Red Bank, and Princeton, and we loved Princeton," Ann said. She took classes at Princeton University and went to work there as the associate editor of a quarterly magazine, University. She continued to write children's books, published six novels for young people, and wrote a book about art forgeries.

      In 1981, Martin died, and Ann went to work fulltime for Princeton as the editor of its Campaign Bulletin. Children's books no longer held the same fascination for her--she wanted to do something different, and settled on a biography of Caroline Gordon. Biography seemed to be the ideal kind of book for her, since she could use research skills learne din journalism and bring people to life using some of the techniques of fiction I had learned. "Princeton University was an immensely helpful employer," she said. "My boss gave me every Wednesday afternoon off so I could do research in the library where Caroline Gordon's papers were held. Often in my travels for the Campaign Bulletin, I could do an interview for the biography as well."
    Social Security Number 420-20-8367  [1
    Died 2 Jul 2010  Princeton, Mercer, New Jersey, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    • Ann Waldron: Newspaper Obituary and Death Notice

      Times, The (Trenton, NJ) - July 8, 2010

      Deceased Name: Ann Waldron

      PRINCETON - Ann Waldron, a Princeton writer who chronicled the lives of Eudora Welty and newspaperman Hodding Carter, and devised the fictional deaths of an astonishing swath of Princeton academics, died on July 2, 2010, of heart failure.
      She was 85 and, in her own words, "lived a long and happy life."

      Ann Waldron was particularly celebrated in this area as the author of the Princeton Murder Mysteries, which featured a nosy but insightful newspaperwoman who helps solve killings on and around the Ivy League campus.

      The books are built around sometimes gruesome murders - a university president and a seminary student were among the victims - but were leavened by details of the heroine's active social life in Princeton and included recipes for some of the dishes consumed in the pages.

      Ann Wood Waldron was born in Birmingham, AL, in 1924, and never lost her rich Alabama accent.

      She was a life-long writer who published her first newspaper story, a travel piece, in a local paper before she was a teenager. At the University of Alabama, she edited the college newspaper, The Crimson White, during the war years.

      After college, she took a job as a feature writer with the Atlanta Constitution, where she met another young reporter, Martin Waldron. The two married in 1947 and Ann Waldron worked for "Progressive Farmer" and other magazines and newspapers in Alabama and Florida.

      Living in Tallahassee and later Houston, she wrote a weekly column for many years that ran in several Florida newspapers and chronicled her life as a working mother of four.

      Beginning in the 1960s, Waldron wrote children's books and after many rejection letters and years spent reviewing books by other writers, she published her first book in 1975, "The House on Pendleton Block," a mystery loosely modeled on her family's adventures.

      Ann moved to the Princeton area in 1975. She continued to write books and worked for many years as a writer for Princeton University.

      She wrote six novels for young people, as well as four nonfiction books about art for children, covering the lives of Goya and Monet, as well as some of the best known art forgeries. She also reviewed books for many years for the Trenton Times and Philadelphia Inquirer.

      In 1987, she published her first book for adults, "Close Connections," a biography of Southern writer Caroline Gordon. She followed that in 1993 with a biography of Hodding Carter Jr., a Mississippi newspaperman who had a progressive-for-the-time attitude about race relations.

      Later, she took on the challenge of writing the first biography of Southern literary icon Eudora Welty. The publicity-averse Welty objected to the project and asked her friends not to cooperate. Even so, Mrs. Waldron doggedly researched the subject around the country and had a polite, though short, meeting with Ms. Welty at her home in Mississippi. The book was purchased by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, then an editor at Doubleday, and was published to strong reviews in 1998.

      A longtime lover of mysteries - especially those set in Great Britain - Mrs. Waldron published "The Princeton Murders" in 2003, at the age of 78. Four more in the series followed.

      She is survived by her four children, Peter Waldron of Haverhill, MA, Lolly O'Brien, of Princeton, Tom Waldron, of Baltimore, MD, and Martin Waldron, of Olympia, WA; eight grandchildren, and one great-granddaughter. Her husband died in 1981 after nearly 34 years of marriage.

      A memorial service will be held on Saturday, July 17, at 2 p.m. at Nassau Presbyterian Church in Princeton, where Mrs. Waldron was a member.

      In lieu of flowers, please send contributions to The Crisis Ministry of Princeton and Trenton, 61 Nassau St., Princeton, NJ, 08542.

      Edition: Trenton Full Run
      Page: A08
      Copyright, 2010, The Times, Trenton N.J. All Rights Reserved.
    Person ID I27348  tng Genealogy

    Family Martin Oliver Waldron, Jr,   b. 2 Feb 1925, Louisiana, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 27 May 1981, Hightstown, Mercer, New Jersey, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 56 years) 
    Married 18 Oct 1947  Shelby, Alabama, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
     1. Living
     2. Living
     3. Living
     4. Living
    Family ID F9197  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 14 Dec 1924 - Birmingham, Jefferson, Alabama, USA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsSSN issued - Bef 1951 - Alabama, USA Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 

  • Photos
    Ann Wood Waldron photo
    Ann Wood Waldron photo

  • Notes 
    • Ann Waldron, Biographer of Southern Writers, Is Dead at 85
      Published: July 7, 2010

      Ann Waldron, who wrote biographies of Southern writers and books for children and young adults, but then - at 78 - decided that she’d rather concoct tales about gruesome murders on the campus of Princeton University, died Friday at her home in Princeton, N.J. She was 85.

      Ann Waldron

      The cause was heart failure, her son Tom said.

      A daughter of the South, Ms. Waldron wrote three biographies about Southern writers and editors. One, “Hodding Carter: The Reconstruction of a Racist” - about the editor of a progressive newspaper in Greenville, Miss., at the height of the civil rights struggle - was named a Notable Book of the Year by The New York Times in 1993.

      “Ann Waldron outlines in rich and intriguing detail the price paid by the editor for questioning the tradition of white supremacy,” Claude Sitton wrote in The New York Times Book Review.

      While researching the Carter biography, Ms. Waldron met Eudora Welty, the Southern writer. Her later request for Welty’s cooperation in a biography was rejected. Reviews of her unauthorized work, “Eudora: A Writer’s Life” (1998), were mixed, but The Atlanta Journal-Constitution called it “a judicious account, written against the odds” and said Welty was “lucky that Ann Waldron is her first biographer.”

      Earlier in her career, Ms. Waldron wrote six novels for children, as well as nonfiction books for young adults about the artists Goya and Monet and accounts of famous art forgeries.

      Only in her later years did she switch to murder mysteries - five books in which a nosey newspaperwoman helps solve killings at Princeton. Among the crimes, the university’s first female president is strangled; a rich book collector is stabbed to death in a library; and a seminary student is murdered, stuffed into a garment bag and left near the Princeton train station.

      The nosey newspaperwoman was something of a self-reflection.

      Born Ann Wood in Birmingham, Ala., on Dec. 14, 1924, Ms. Waldron was one of two daughters of Earl and Elizabeth Roberts Wood. She received a bachelor’s a degree in journalism from the University of Alabama, in 1945. That year she was hired by The Atlanta Constitution. There she met and married another reporter, Martin Waldron.

      Mr. Waldron, who later became a reporter for The Times, died in 1981. Besides her son Tom, Ms. Waldron is survived by two other sons, Peter and Martin; a daughter, Lolly O’Brien; eight grandchildren; and one great-granddaughter.

      Ms. Waldron also worked for The Progressive Farmer, a magazine centered on rural life and farming; The Tampa Tribune, where she wrote a weekly feature on women in state government; and The Houston Chronicle, where she was a book editor.

      When Mr. Waldron was hired by The Times in 1965, the family moved to Hightstown, N.J., where Ms. Waldron began writing books.

      “The mysteries sold real well in the Princeton area,” Tom Waldron said. Asked why his mother had turned to such gruesome fare, he said, “She loved Agatha Christie, so this was her version.”
      This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:

      Correction: July 15, 2010

      An obituary on July 7 about the author Ann Waldron misstated the year her husband, the reporter Martin Waldron, was hired by The New York Times. It was 1965, not 1975. The obituary also misidentified the city that the Waldrons moved to in 1975. It was Hightstown, N.J., not Princeton.

      A version of this article appeared in print on July 7, 2010, on page A14 of the New York edition.

  • Sources 
    1. [S344] Social Security Death Index, Ancestry.com, (Name: The Generations Network, Inc.; Location: Provo, UT, USA; Date: 2009;), Database online. Number: 420-20-8367; Issue State: Alabama; Issue Date: Before 1951.
      Record for Ann W. Waldron