John Henry Faulk Biography

John Henry Faulk Biography

John Henry Faulk

For Whom is the Central Library Named?

John Henry Faulk was born in Austin, Texas in 1913 and grew up in the nineteenth century house on West Live Oak Street in South Austin known today as Green Pastures Restaurant. While at the University of Texas, he became a pupil of noted folklorist and storyteller, J. Frank Dobie, and completed his Master's thesis entitled "Ten Negro Sermons." After service with the Merchant Marines, the American Red Cross and the U.S. Army during World War II, he moved to New York, where from 1947 to 1956 his homespun humor won the hearts of many who listened to his daily radio programs or saw him as a TV host and panelist.

Elected vice-president of the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, John Henry was determined that the actors' union take a stand against the McCarthyite practice of blacklisting entertainers with alleged connections to the Communist Party. As a result, he was himself blacklisted, and lost his jobs in radio and television. With the help of attorney Louis Nizer, he filed and won, after a six-year battle, the largest libel judgment ever awarded at the time.

John Henry's later career included small parts in movies, regular appearances on TV's "Hee Haw" and stage shows including the one-man "Pear Orchard, Texas," which he wrote and began performing in 1986. He often appeared on the lecture circuit, where he mixed his down-to-earth humor with strong support for intellectual freedom and the First Amendment.

John Henry Faulk died in Austin on April 9, 1990 at the age of 76.


Fear on Trial. John Henry Faulk. Simon and Schuster. 1964. 345.730231 F273f

John Henry Faulk: Defender of the First Amendment (videorecording). Peter Steffen. The Author. 1991. A 345.730231 F273j

John Henry Faulk: The Making of a Liberated Mind. Michael C. Burton. Eakin Press. 1993. 818.5409 F233b

Johnny'n Me. Jack B. Kellam. Thumbnose Press. 1985. A 811.5408 Ke AA

The Uncensored John Henry Faulk. John Henry Faulk. Texas Monthly Press. 1985. 818.5409 Fa