Edward Ball

Edward Ball

Fellow: Awarded 2023
Field of Study: U.S. History

Competition: US & Canada

Edward Ball is a nonfiction author who has written about enslavement, early film, gender transition, white supremacy, and other subjects. He was born in Savannah in 1958, raised in New Orleans, Miami, and Charleston, South Carolina, and graduated from Brown University in 1982. He studied film in graduate school and moved to New York City, where he worked for ten years as a freelance journalist, writing on movies, art, books, and architecture. His first book, Slaves in the Family, an account of his paternal family’s 170 years as slaveholders in South Carolina, received the National Book Award for Nonfiction. His book Life of a Klansman tells the story of one of Edward’s maternal ancestors, a carpenter in Louisiana who took up the cause of fanatical racism to become a marauder in the Ku Klux Klan. Edward’s book The Inventor and the Tycoon recounts the earliest invention of moving pictures by an itinerant photographer, Edward Muybridge, and a railroad plutocrat, Leland Stanford. Edward Ball has taught at Yale University and has received fellowships from the Radcliffe Institute at Harvard, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the New York Public Library’s Cullman Center, and the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.

Photo Credit: Claire Bangser

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