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Writer and Journalist Dudley Clendinen, 67


The writer Dudley Clendinen died today, May 30, 2012, after battling ALS/Lou Gerhig's Disease for 18 months.  I got to know Dudley while inviting him to participate at several CityLit events over the years.  After his diagnosis, we met three times to discuss a book project based on the gripping memoirs of everyday people that emerged from the writing class he taught at the University of Baltimore.  Each time at One World Cafe, I drank coffee while he slowly tackled a bowl of yogurt that a waiter brought without his ordering it.  He joked about how "Lou" was slurring his speech, particularly irritating for an alcoholic who had been sober for so many years.  He mentioned several other projects on his "bucket list" (Dudley's humor never seemed to fail him even after his voice did), but he mostly talked about his daughter Whitney.  At our third and final one-on-one meeting, I simply told Dudley that he had other stories and people that took precedence over this project.  He agreed.  I would have been honored to work with Dudley; I am honored to have known him.  Dudley's life now settles into the sweep of history, as Tom Hall expressed in his on-air remembrance, and therefore remains a part of us all always. -- Gregg Wilhelm

From WYPR's website:

The writer and journalist Dudley Clendinen died today in Baltimore after a year and a half long battle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS.  Dudley worked as a reporter and editorial writer for The New York Times, and was the author of several books, including  Out for Good: The Struggle to Build a Gay Rights Movement in America, on the evolution of the gay rights movement, and A Place Called Canterbury: Tales of the New Old Age in America.  He remained in his home until he was moved to hospice care at the Joseph Richey House earlier today.  He was 67 years old.

Dudley was open about his experience with terminal illness, both in the op-ed pages of The Times, and on Maryland Morning, where he spoke about the disease in a series of interviews with Tom Hall called “Living with Lou: Dudley Clendinen on a Good, Short Life.” 

Tom Hall’s remembrance of Dudley be broadcast on WYPR on Thursday, May 31, at 7:50 and 9:50.  Audio will be available on this website after that time.

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