Height of Willie Drye
The height of Willie Drye is …m.
1. Where did Willie Drye come from ?
Willie Drye (he is born in October 22, 1949) is an American journalist and an author. He has won awards for his writing about the science of hurricanes and their social and financial impacts. He has published three nonfiction books, and is a contributing editor for National Geographic News. His work has appeared in The Washington Post, The Globe and Mail of Toronto, and other national and regional publications. He also is a frequent guest on radio talk shows, and has discussed his work on WLRN in Miami, WUNC in Chapel Hill, and other radio and television stations. His first book, Storm of the Century: The Labor Day Hurricane of 1935 and his work for National Geographic News have been cited in scientific studies of hurricanes and their effects on society, legal briefs, local emergency management planning, science teachers’ and public libraries’ suggested reading lists about hurricanes, and books and other publications.
2. What could we know about Willie Drye besides his height ?
Drye was born in Albemarle, North Carolina, and grew up in nearby Misenheimer, a small college town near Charlotte. His father, Claude Dry, ran a small grocery store and gas station adjacent to the campus of Pfeiffer University. Drye spells his name differently than his family because of a mistake on his birth certificate. His first experience with a hurricane was October 1954, when he went with his family to Long Beach, North Carolina, to help relatives whose home had been destroyed by Hurricane Hazel. The devastation from that storm—still the most powerful hurricane on record for North Carolina—made a vivid and lasting impression on him. He credits Davida Gates, his sixth-grade teacher at Richfield School, with sparking his interest in historical research and storytelling. He was a standout athlete, earning five athletic letters at North Stanly High School, where he won a local award for sports writing for the student newspaper in 1967. He also was a volunteer firefighter for the Richfield-Misenheimer Volunteer Fire Department before graduating from North Stanly in 1968.
3. What are the projects of Willie Drye ?
Drye attended Mitchell College (now Mitchell Community College) in Statesville, North Carolina and played a season of baseball there before entering the US Army, where he served as a medic. After receiving an honorable discharge, he attended Belmont Abbey College in Belmont, North Carolina for one semester to earn credits needed for admission to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The late Reverend Matthew McSorley, OSB, a professor of English at Belmont Abbey, encouraged Drye to develop his writing skills. At the University of North Carolina, Drye studied under Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Philip Meyer, and later became a close friend of the late Jim Shumaker, a journalist and instructor at the School of Journalism. These two instructors greatly influenced Drye’s later work. Drye also was encouraged to pursue a career in journalism by Mark MacDonald, who was city editor of The Chapel Hill News at the time. He earned a bachelor’s degree in English from UNC in 1981
4. Somme collaborations with Willie Drye ?
Drye worked as a reporter and later as managing editor for The News of Orange County in Hillsborough, North Carolina; the Macon (Georgia) Telegraph; the News and Observer of Raleigh, North Carolina; and the Stuart (Florida) News. Drye was working as a reporter in South Florida when Hurricane Andrew made landfall near Miami in August 1992. He was well away from the worst of Andrew’s winds, but was fascinated by the power of the storm and astonished by the devastation it inflicted around Homestead and Florida City. He began to intensively research hurricanes.
In 1995, Drye wrote a letter to Mickey Mantle when he learned that his childhood hero was dying of cancer. Drye’s heartfelt letter—one of tens of thousands the former baseball superstar received before his death in August 1995—was chosen for Letters to Mickey, a collection of 109 letters from Mantle’s fans written to him after his battle with cancer was publicly announced. The book was published by HarperCollins in 1995.
In 2005, Drye was invited to write an in-depth article about the Labor Day Hurricane of 1935 for Tequesta, the scholarly journal of the Historical Association of Southern Florida. The journal is considered an authoritative source for the study of the history of South Florida.
That same year, Storm of the Century: The Labor Day Hurricane of 1935 was the basis for a two-hour (with commercials) documentary movie, “Nature’s Fury: Storm of the Century” produced for the History Channel by Towers Productions of Chicago. Drye is the primary narrator in the movie, which premiered in 2006.
In August 2005, Drye launched National Geographic’s extensive coverage of Hurricane Katrina with a series of stories for National Geographic News that examined the storm’s immediate effects. In the aftermath of Katrina, Drye was asked to write about Katrina’s unprecedented devastation and the political fallout in the wake of that hurricane for The Washington Post and the History News Network. He also was interviewed by newspapers seeking perspective and background about devastating hurricanes of history.
In the years following Hurricane Katrina, Storm of the Century: The Labor Day Hurricane of 1935, and Drye’s reporting on hurricanes for National Geographic News have frequently been cited in scientific studies and local emergency management plans, as well as legal briefs and libraries’ lists of suggested reading about hurricanes.
In 2006, Drye was hired by Key West Magazine to write a package of stories about how Key West and the Florida Keys likely would be affected by a major hurricane. Those stories won a first place Charlie Award for Public Service from the Florida Magazine Association in 2007. That same year, Drye was recognized for his work by the General Alumni Association of the University of North Carolina when the association’s magazine, the Carolina Alumni Review, published a brief profile about him.
Drye was a consultant for author Jennifer Holm when she was writing Turtle in Paradise, a children’s novel set in Key West in 1935. The novel’s characters are caught in the Labor Day hurricane of 1935. Drye advised Holm about details of the storm and reviewed portions of the novel for accuracy. Turtle in Paradise was published in 2010 and was named a Newbery Honor Book and won the Golden Kite Award.
That same year, on the 75th anniversary of the Labor Day Hurricane of 1935, VFW Magazine hired Drye to write about the storm for its 1.3 million subscribers.
In 2011, author Michael Koryta cited Drye’s Storm of the Century as one of his inspirations for his novel, The Cypress House.
Drye’s second book, Images of America: Plymouth and Washington County, was published by Arcadia Publishing in 2014. The book tells the story, in pictures, of a region in northeastern North Carolina whose history dates back to the earliest days of American history.
His third book, For Sale—American Paradise: How Our Nation Was Sold an Impossible Dream in Florida, was published by Lyons Press in 2015. The book tells the story of the colorful, tragicomic Florida Land Boom of the 1920s, when millions of Americans—including well-known politicians, entertainers, movie stars, athletes and Wall Street investors—flocked to Florida seeking instant wealth. The book was praised by reviewers, including Publisher’s Weekly, Library Journal, Booklist, The Florida Times-Union, and others. In 2016, the book won a Silver Medal for Best Nonfiction- Southeast Region, from the Independent Publisher Book Awards (also known as the IPPY Awards)
Drye also produces a blog, Drye Goods, an eclectic collection of essays about topics of personal interest such as baseball and other sports, the Civil War, hurricanes, popular culture, and other topics.
Drye and his wife live in Wilmington, North Carolina. He is represented by the Jeanne Fredericks Literary Agency of New Canaan, Connecticut, and by managing partner Bill Hawkins of Straight Arrow PR of Dunedin, Florida.
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