Wil Haygood

The Ohio Connection

“When I was a little boy, in love with nature, with fishing, I’d walk alone the two miles to the Olentangy River dam in my hometown of Columbus, Ohio.” —Wil Haygood, in an excerpt from The Haygoods of Columbus: A Love Story (1997)

  • Wil Haygood was born in Columbus on September 19, 1954.
  • Haygood graduated from Franklin Heights High School in Columbus; in 1976 he was awarded a B.A. from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.
  • Haygood’s first job in journalism was with the Call & Post, an urban weekly newspaper that covers Ohio’s black community. The young reporter wrote a feature story on “the destruction of Mount Vernon Avenue,” the Columbus neighborhood in which Haygood came of age during the 60’s.
  • He left the Call & Post in 1978 and worked for a year at the Columbus Community Information and Referral Hotline.
  • In 1995, Haygood was selected to be writer-in-residence at James Thurber’s house, located near his old Columbus neighborhood. While living there, he researched and wrote the book The Haygoods of Columbus: A Love Story.  The acclaimed memoir chronicles the rise and fall of a once-bustling street in a midwestern city: Mount Vernon Avenue.
  • He was awarded a doctorate in humane letters from Ohio Dominican College in 1993.
  • In 1998, Haygood received the Ohioana Book Award for nonfiction for his memoir, The Haygoods of Columbus: A Love Story.

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