Brodie, Fawn M.

Brodie, Fawn M. (McKay)

(1915–81) historian, biographer; born in Ogden, Utah. Raised in one of the preeminent families of the Mormon Church, her first subject following graduation from the University of Chicago (M.A. 1936) was a biography of Joseph Smith, the founder and first prophet of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. After the otherwise well-received No Man Knows My History: the Life of Joseph Smith was published (1945), she was excommunicated from the Church on charges of heresy. She joined the faculty at the University of California: Los Angeles (1968–77) following biographies of Thaddeus Stevens (1959) and Sir Richard Burton (1967). Her famous biography of Thomas Jefferson (1974) was a featured selection of the Book of the Month Club. In 1967 she was named Fellow of the Year by the Utah Historical Society and in 1975 Woman of the Year by the Los Angeles Times. Her biography of Richard Nixon was published posthumously in 1981.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.