William Styron ’46

William Styron ’46 of Roxbury, Conn., died November 1, 2006. He was the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Confessions of Nat Turner and other novels whose explorations of the darkest corners of the human mind and experience were charged by his own near-suicidal demon. He also wrote Sophie’s Choice, the award-winning novel about a Holocaust survivor from Poland, and A Tidewater Morning, a collection of fiction pieces. He also published a book of essays, This Quiet Dust, and the best-selling memoir Darkness Visible, in which he recalled nearly taking his own life. Prior to World War II, he attended Davidson for a year and in 1986 Davidson awarded him the Honorary Doctor of Literature degree. He served as a lieutenant in the Marines during World War II and in 1945 was stationed in Okinawa. After the war, he graduated from Duke University and moved to New York, where he worked briefly as a copy editor at McGraw-Hill until the publisher fired him “for slovenly appearance, not wearing a hat, and reading the New York Post.” He was recalled to the Marines in 1951, just as Lie Down in Darkness was being published, and his second book, The Long March, drew on his experiences at Camp Lejeune, N.C. He took a lengthy tour of Europe after his discharge, offering moral and literary support for the founding of The Paris Review and meeting his wife, the poet Rosa Burgunder, 12 Rucum Rd., Roxbury, Conn. 06783, with whom he had four children, Susanna, Paula Claire, and Thomas.