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Brodie, Fawn McKay

Born: 1915 AD
Died: 1981 AD

1915 – Fawn McKay Brodie, born on the 15th of September in Ogden, Utah, she grew up in Huntsville, about ten miles east. She was a biographer and professor of history at UCLA.


1921 – Introduced to school, the six-year-old Fawn was advanced to the fourth grade.


1925 – At ten she had a poem printed in the LDS youth periodical, The Juvenile Instructor; at fourteen she was salutatorian of Weber High School.


1930 – 1932 – Attended Weber College, a two-year institution in Ogden then owned by the LDS Church, where she became an accomplished public speaker and participated in intercollegiate debate.


1934 – She then completed her B.A. in English literature at the University of Utah.


– After graduation, at age nineteen, she returned to teach English at Weber College, where she demonstrated excellent potential as a teacher.


1935 – She and Jensen were accepted for graduate studies at the University of California, Berkeley, and friends assumed they would be married.


1936 – At the University of Chicago, where she earned a M.A.


– She married Bernard Brodie on her graduation day, on the 28th of August.


1943 – She was encouraged enough to enter her three-hundred page draft in a contest for the Alfred A. Knopf literary fellowship, and in May her application was judged the best of the forty-four entries.


1944 – Finally completed her biography of Joseph Smith, and it was published the following year by Alfred A. Knopf when she was only thirty.


1946 – The LDS Church excommunicated her, and she never attempted to regain her membership.


1956 – Discovered evidence that Stevens might have killed a black girl who was pregnant with his child, complicating her attempt to rehabilitate his character.


1971 – She had a fifteen thousand dollar advance from her publisher and had presented a summary of her arguments at the annual meeting of the Organization of American Historians.


1974 – Thomas Jefferson: An Intimate History was published in February.


1980 – Became unusually tired. She was shortly diagnosed with metastatic lung cancer, although she had never smoked.


1981 – Richard Nixon: The Shaping of His Character was published.


– Died on the 10th of January, nine months before publication of the book. As death neared, the cancer spread to her brain and bones, and she experienced intense pain.