Billy C. Clark (1928-2009) grew up in Catlettsburg, Kentucky, a small hamlet on the Big Sandy River which forms the West Virginia border, near its confluence with the Ohio River. He came from a large poor uneducated family, and lived on his own from the age of 11. After serving in the Korean War, he was able to enroll at the University of Kentucky under the GI bill. He returned home to work for Ashland Oil and began, in 1957, publishing his autobiographical novels with prestigious New York publishers. Putnam's published two of his books in 1985. Two more came out in 1960 and one in 1961. In 1963 he became a professor at Somerset Community College where he worked when Putnam's published three more of his books. At Somerset he established Kentucky Writing, an outlet for high school creative writers. In 1986, Longwood University, in Virginia, made Billy C. Clark their writer-in-residence. While there he resumed his publishing career with books of poems, stories, and novels, and the Jesse Stuart Foundation reprinted most of his earlier books. Clark was a second cousin to Jesse Stuart. Today the U.S. 60 bridge across the Big Sandy is named The Billy C. Clark bridge. The Champion of Sourwood Mountain was first published by Putnam's in 1966.
Ashland, KY: Jesse Stuart Foundation, a 2003 paperback edition of a 1966 release. 251 pages. Trade paperback.