When Thomas D. Clark was hired to teach history at the University of Kentucky in 1931, he began a career that would span nearly three-quarters of a century and would profoundly change not only the history department and the university but the entire Commonwealth. His still-definitive ""History of Kentucky"" (1937) was one of more than thirty books he would write or edit dealing with Kentucky, the South, and the American frontier. In addition to his wide scholarly contributions, Clark devoted his life to the preservation of Kentucky's historical records. His efforts resulted in the Commonwealth's first archival system and the subsequent creation of the Kentucky Library and Archives, the University of Kentucky Special Collections and Archives, the Kentucky Oral History Commission, the Kentucky History Center (recently named for him), and the University Press of Kentucky. Born on a cotton farm in Louisville, Mississippi, in 1903, Thomas Dionysius Clark dropped out of school after seventh grade to work on a canal dredgeboat before resuming his formal education. In ""My Century in History"", Clark offers vivid memories of his personal and academic journey, a journey that took him from Mississippi to Kentucky and North Carolina, to leadership of the nation's major historical organizations, and to visiting professorships in Austria, England, Greece, and India, as well as in universities throughout the United States. An enormously popular public lecturer as well, he touched thousands of lives. With characteristic wit and insight, Clark now offers his many admirers one final volume of history - his own.
Thomas D. Clark (1903-2005) was appointed Kentucky Historian Laureate for life in 1990 by the Kentucky General Assembly. He was author or editor of thirty-two books, publishing his last, The People's House: Governor's Mansions of Kentucky, at the age of ninety-nine. James C. Klotter, State Historian of Kentucky and professor of history at Georgetown College, is the author and editor of several books.