William "Bill" Walton: A Charmed Life

Mary Hackett

Published by Branden Books, 2013
ISBN 10: 0828325006 / ISBN 13: 9780828325004
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Synopsis: Bill Walton grew up with days full of purpose and a compelling need to harmonize the reality of his current experiences and the people he met, with his youth’s Midwestern small town perspective and with a rich family of values that he treasured throughout his life. He was a writer, artist, confidante to key figures of the 20th century, and a major Washington player. Bill counted among his well-known friends: Ernest and Mary Hemingway, John F. Kennedy, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Robert Kennedy, Charles Collingwood, Marie and Averell Harriman, Pamela Churchill Harriman, Martha Gellhorn, Alice Roosevelt Longworth, Babe and William Paley, Marietta and Ronald Tree, Philip and Katharine Graham, Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. and I. M. Pei, and many more. During the bloody World War II Battle of Hurtgen Forest—a few months after the Normandy Invasion—Bill became friends with America’s most celebrated writer, Ernest Hemingway. They had met six months prior at one of photographer Robert Capa’s bashes in London, during the run-up to D-Day. In the intervening months, they became better acquainted socially—celebrating with friends the liberation of Paris at the Ritz and vaca-tioning on the Island of St. Michel with fellow journalists. In the Hurtgen Forest, how-ever, they bonded for life. Both worked on newspapers early on. Both craved adventure. And, not unlike Hemingway, both desired to stay close and be independent of the War with all its related pain. Ultimately, the War defined Bill Walton. A journalist turned painter, Bill was made Chairman by President Kennedy of the Fine Arts Commission. In that position, he worked closely with Mrs. Kennedy on several other cultural projects as well.

About the Author: Mary Hackett, the author, is Bill’s niece by marriage Mary Hackett is the niece, by mar-riage, of William Walton. They developed a close relationship which was personal, and one of shared interests in gardening, art, archeology, Native American pottery, architec-ture, and the appreciation of books. The author has lived several years in the Orient and Mexico, and traveled widely. After he died, Bill's lifelong letters to his older sister were inherited by Mary and her husband. The letters, and many intimate conversations, are the basis for this book. She felt his life was so unusual, personally involving several presi-dents and many of the famous people of our history, that his story should be chronicled for others to know.

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Bibliographic Details

Title: William "Bill" Walton: A Charmed Life
Publisher: Branden Books
Publication Date: 2013
Binding: Paperback
Book Condition: Good
Edition: 1st - may be Reissue.

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