Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Arthur Ben Chitty and the Mystery of John Wilkes Booth


Arthur Ben Chitty was born in 1914, the first child of Arthur Benjamin Chitty and Hazel Talitha Brown of Jacksonville, Florida. 

Educated in the public schools of Jacksonville, Chitty matriculated at the University of the South when he was 16 years old, completing his college studies in English in three years and earning membership in Phi Beta Kappa. 

Chitty worked for some years in his father's grocery business before enlisting in the U.S. Navy during World War II and serving as a recruiter stateside. After the war, he was called to the University of the South to serve as its first alumni and public-relations director. 

In the summer of 1946, he married Mary Elizabeth Nickinson (Betty Nick), whom he had met while serving at the Naval Air Station in Pensacola, Florida; her father, Lt. Commander Edward Phillips Nickinson, had been called out of retirement to be the wartime commander of the naval base. He and his wife enjoyed a richly rewarding intellectual partnership for over 50 years, working together on many historical and literary projects together, he providing the creative flair and questing intellect, and she providing an editor's caution, a librarian's encyclopedic knowledge, and a passion for accuracy.

1 comment:

  1. Hi there! I'm a writer working on an article about Booth, and his mummy, and David E George and John St Helen and the whole thing. Would you be willing to talk over the phone with me about it?

    -- Christopher Kemp