Georgia Historical Society Appoints Journalist and Author Steve Oney as Vincent J. Dooley Distinguished Fellow

Staff Report From Georgia CEO

Thursday, April 18th, 2024

The Georgia Historical Society (GHS) has announced that journalist and author Steve Oney has been named the Vincent J. Dooley Distinguished Teaching Fellow for 2024.

A long-time staff writer for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Magazine, Oney is the author of And the Dead Shall Rise: The Murder of Mary Phagan and the Lynching of Leo Frank (Pantheon, 2003). Combining investigative journalism and sweeping history, Oney’s book is the definitive account of one of Georgia history’s darkest and most notorious moments.

He is also the author of A Man’s World: A Gallery of Fighters, Creators, Actors, and Desperadoes (University of Georgia Press, 2019), a collection of twenty profiles of fascinating and famous men, written over a 40-year period for publications including Esquire, Premiere, GQ, TIME, and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Magazine.

“Steve Oney is more than deserving of this honor,” said GHS President Dr. W. Todd Groce. “His impressive research and work with GHS over the years made him a perfect choice. His book on the murder of Mary Phagan and the trial of Leo Frank was a masterful combination of historical and journalistic investigation and demonstrates the power of history to offer new perspective on the past and heal the present.”

Oney’s many awards include the American Bar Association’s Silver Gavel Award, the Southern Book Critics Circle Prize, and the National Jewish Book Award. His articles have been anthologized in “The Best American Magazine Writing 2008” and “The Best American Sports Writing 2006.” He was educated at the University of Georgia and at Harvard University, where he was a Nieman Fellow. Oney is currently writing a history of National Public Radio.

Individuals designated as Dooley Distinguished Teaching Fellows are national leaders in the field of history as both writers and educators whose research has enhanced or changed the way the public understands the past. In addition to their outstanding scholarship, Dooley Distinguished Teaching Fellows have served the Georgia Historical Society as faculty in teacher training seminars, as lecturers, as consultants, or in a similar capacity. Being designated as a Dooley Distinguished Fellow recognizes and formalizes the relationship forged through this service. Previous Dooley Teaching Fellows are renowned and prize-winning authors David Blight (2018), Rick Atkinson (2019), and Annette Gordon-Reed (2022).

The Dooley Distinguished Fellows Program is designed to accomplish two goals consistent with Coach Vince Dooley’s life and legacy: recognizing senior scholars in the field of history and mentoring and developing emerging historians. The program permanently associates Coach Dooley’s name with outstanding historical research and scholarship through the ongoing recognition of Teaching and Research Fellows. As a longtime member of the Georgia Historical Society’s Board of Curators, Coach Dooley demonstrated his strong belief in and support of the Society’s mission as a nationally-recognized research and educational institution.

Oney’s induction as a Dooley Fellow will take place Thursday, September 12, 2024, at 7 p.m. at Congregation Mickve Israel, 20 E. Gordon Street on Monterey Square in Savannah. This event will be free and open to the public. The induction will be followed by a discussion between Oney and Dr. Stan Deaton, Senior Historian and the Dr. Elaine B. Andrews Distinguished Historian at the Georgia Historical Society.

As a Dooley Distinguished Fellow, Oney will receive a cash prize and a bust of Vince Dooley sculpted by acclaimed artist Ross Rossin of Atlanta. Known for large-scale, oil-on-canvas paintings found on the walls of the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, the High Museum of Art, and the Baseball Hall of Fame (to name a few), Rossin has also created busts of legends like Griffin Bell and Arthur Blank as well as the statue of Hank Aaron in SunTrust Park.

Oney’s books will be on sale at the event and signings will be held at 6:30 p.m. prior to the program and until 8:30 p.m. following the program.

For more information about the Vincent J. Dooley Distinguished Fellows Program, please contact Keith Strigaro, Director of Communications, at (912) 651-2125, ext. 153.