Ted Morgan (writer)
|Born||Comte St. Charles Armand Gabriel de Gramont
March 30, 1932
|Occupation||Journalist, biographer, historian|
|Alma mater||Yale University|
|Notable award(s)||Pulitzer Prize for Local Reporting|
Morgan was born Comte St. Charles Armand Gabriel de Gramont in Geneva.
After his father's death in a training flight, Morgan began to lead two parallel lives. He attended Yale University (where he was a member of Manuscript Society) and worked as a reporter. But he was still a member (albeit a reluctant one) of the French nobility. He was drafted into the French Army where he served for two years from 1955 to 1957, during the Algerian War, initially as a second lieutenant with a Senegalese regiment of Colonial Infantry and then as a propaganda officer. He subsequently wrote in frank detail of his brutalizing experiences while on active service in the bled (Algerian countryside) and of the atrocities committed by both sides during the Battle of Algiers.
Following his military service, Morgan returned to the United States and won the Pulitzer Prize for Local Reporting in 1961 for what was described as "his moving account of the death of Leonard Warren on the Metropolitan Opera stage." At the time, Morgan was still a French citizen writing under the name of "Sanche de Gramont".
In the 1970s, Morgan stopped using the byline "Sanche de Gramont". He became an American citizen in 1977, renouncing his titles of nobility. The name he adopted as a U.S. citizen, "Ted Morgan", is an anagram of "de Gramont". The new name was a conscious attempt to discard his aristocratic French past. He had settled on a "name that conformed with the language and cultural norms of American society, a name that telephone operators and desk clerks could hear without flinching" (On Becoming American, 1978). Morgan was featured in the CBS news program 60 Minutes in 1978. The segment explored Morgan's reasons for embracing American culture and showed him eating dinner with his family in a fast food restaurant.
Morgan has written much-admired biographies of Winston Churchill (a Pulitzer Prize for Biography finalist in 1983), William S. Burroughs, and Franklin Delano Roosevelt. His 1980 biography of W. Somerset Maugham was a 1982 National Book Award finalist in its first paperback edition.[a] He has also written for newspapers and magazines.
- Valley of Death: The Tragedy at Dien Bien Phu That Led America into the Vietnam War. Random House Publishing Group. 2010. ISBN 9781400066643.
- My Battle of Algiers. HarperCollins. 2006. ISBN 9780060852245.
- A Covert Life: Jay Lovestone, Communist, Anti-Communist and Spymaster. Random House. 1999. ISBN 9780679444008.; Random House Digital, Inc., 2011, ISBN 9780307805669
- Reds: McCarthyism in Twentieth Century America. Random House Digital, Inc. 2004. ISBN 9780812973020.
- A Shovel of Stars: The Making of the American West 1800 to the Present. Simon and Schuster, 1996. ISBN 9780684814926.
- Wilderness at Dawn: The Settling of the North American Continent Simon & Schuster, 1993, ISBN 9780671690885
- An Uncertain Hour: The French, the Germans, the Jews, the Barbie Trial, and the City of Lyon, 1940-1945 (1990)
- Literary Outlaw: The Life and Times of William S. Burroughs. W. W. Norton & Company. 2012. ISBN 9780393343243.
- FDR: A Biography, Simon and Schuster, 1985, ISBN 9780671454951
- Churchill: A Young Man in A Hurry, Simon and Schuster, 1982; Simon & Schuster, 1984, ISBN 9780671253042
- Rowing toward Eden, Houghton Mifflin, 1981, ISBN 9780395297148
- Maugham Simon and Schuster, 1980, ISBN 9780671240776
- On Becoming American Houghton Mifflin, 1978
- The Strong Brown God: The Story of the Niger River, Hart Davis, MacGibbon, 1975 (as Sanche de Gramont)
- Lives To Give (1971) (as Sanche de Gramont)
- Epitaph for kings Putnam, 1968 (as Sanche de Gramont)
- The French: Portrait of a people (1969) (as Sanche de Gramont)
- The Secret War: The story of international espionage since 1945 (1962) (as Sanche de Gramont)
- Walter Lippman and the American Century by Ronald Steel won the 1982 National Book Award for paperback "Autobiography/Biography".
From 1980 to 1983 in National Book Award history there were dual hardcover and paperback awards in most categories, and several nonfiction subcategories including General Nonfiction. Like most of the paperback-award winning books, Walter Lippman and Maugham were reissues.
- C-SPAN Q&A interview with Morgan, February 21, 2010
- Ted Morgan at Library of Congress Authorities, with 25 catalog records (including books by Sanche de Gramont)