The West Virginia University Press will celebrate the launch of Thomas F. Stafford’sAfflicting the Comfortable: Journalism and Politics in West Virginiaat 5 p.m. Monday, March 6, in Elizabeth Moore Hall on the Downtown Campus. The event is free and open to the public.
The book chronicles Stafford’s lifelong dedication to the field of investigative reporting. During his career, his investigations prefaced the downfall of former Gov. William WallaceWallyBarron and an administration that had reportedly robbed the state and the citizens of West Virginia for years.
Stafford’s life began in Grafton in 1914. After graduating from WVU ’s Perley Isaac Reed School of Journalism in 1936, he became a reporter at The Raleigh Register until he left to serve his country as an officer in the Navy during World War II.
He became editor of the Register upon his return and launched a career of political and investigative reporting.
In 1954, he joined The Charleston Gazette where he served as a political reporter, writer of theAffairs of Statecolumn, and associate editor until 1966. He resigned to take the position as clerk of the federal district court in Elkins until his retirement in 1984. Stafford died in June 1993.
Mrs. Thomas Stafford, the author’s wife, Margo Stafford, his daughter, and Charles Stafford, his brother, plan to participate in the March event. Margo Stafford is a former associate editor of Goldenseal magazine, and Charles Stafford won the 1980 Pulitzer Prize for national reporting.
Other invited speakers include Mrs. Elizabeth Chilton, president/publisher of The Charleston Gazette. Professor Maryanne Reed, acting dean of the P.I. Reed School of Journalism, will describe Stafford’s journalistic accomplishments while Patrick Conner, director of the WVU Press, will be master of ceremonies.
Afflicting the Comfortablewill be available for purchase at the event for $30.