William Austin Emerson, Jr. ’45

William Austin Emerson, Jr. ’45 died Aug. 25 at his Atlanta, Ga., home. Emerson was a son of the late William A. Emerson, Sr. and Laura Cole Emerson of Atlanta. Born in Charlotte, N.C., he attended Davidson for two years before joining the Army. After serving in the Pacific Theater during WWII, Emerson earned his bachelor’s degree from Harvard University in 1948. In that same year, he married the late Lucy Peel Kiser Emerson. During the 1950s, Emerson was a reporter for Collier’s and Newsweek magazines in New York and in Atlanta. In 1953, he established the Atlanta bureau of Newsweek and covered the South until 1961, when he moved back to New York for an editor’s position at Newsweek. Emerson subsequently accepted an editorial position at the Saturday Evening Post, where he ultimately became editor-in-chief. Following the dissolution of the Saturday Evening Post in 1969, Emerson worked as a writer, columnist, and radio commentator and was an author of several books. In addition, he and his wife, Lucy, founded Fountain Publishing, which produced a number of books. Beginning in 1975, Emerson taught for 10 years as a chaired professor at the University of South Carolina School of Journalism in Columbia. After his retirement, he returned to Atlanta, where he worked as a book editor for Peachtree Publishing. He edited books by a number of authors, including Ferrol Sams for whom he edited Run with the Horsemen. Survivors include daughter, Laura Emerson Alexander (Sydenham), 510 Monroe St., Chapel Hill, NC 27516-3015; daughters, Lucy Emerson Sullivan (Christopher) and Ellen Emerson Yaghjian (David); sons, William Austin “Bo” Emerson III (Maureen Downey) and John Finley Emerson (Jane); 10 grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; and a brother, Boynton Cole Emerson. He was preceded in death by a sister, Clare Emerson Thornwell.