Wil Haygood

Wil Haygood (born September 19, 1954, in Columbus, Ohio)[3] is an American journalist and author who is known for his 2008 article "A Butler Well Served by this Election" in The Washington Post[4] about Eugene Allen, which served as the basis for the 2013 movie The Butler.[2] Since then, Haygood has written a book about Allen, The Butler: A Witness to History.[5] While being interviewed on the radio program Conversations with Allan Wolper on WBGO 88.3FM, Haygood revealed that he had tracked down another White House butler. At the last minute, this butler, who had served three presidents, refused to be interviewed; the man's family apparently did not want his story out against the parallel story of the election of President Barack Obama.[6]

Wil Haygood
Born (1954-09-19) 19 September 1954[1]
Columbus, Ohio
Alma materMiami University, 1976[2]

Haygood is a fellow of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation[7] and a professor at Miami University.[2] Haygood's 2018 book Tigerland: 1968-1969: A City Divided, A Nation Torn Apart, And A Magical Season Of Healing was the runner-up for the 2019 Dayton Literary Peace Prize for Nonfiction. [8]


  • Two on the River, 1986
  • King of Cats: The Life and Times of Adam Clayton Powell Jr., 1993
  • The Haygoods of Columbus, 1997
  • In Black and White: The Life of Sammy Davis Jr., 2003
  • Sweet Thunder: The Life and Times of Sugar Ray Robinson, 2009
  • The Butler: A Witness to History, 2013
  • Showdown: Thurgood Marshall and the Supreme Court Nomination that Changed America, 2015
  • Tigerland: 1968-1969: A City Divided, A Nation Torn Apart, And A Magical Season Of Healing, 2018


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