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C. W. Gusewelle

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Trudy Hall '62 with Charles W. Guswelle '51, January 2010

Charles Gusewelle Biography Notes

C. W. Gusewelle was graduated in 1955 from Westminster College and joined The Kansas City Star that year as a general assignment reporter.  He became an editorial writer on foreign affairs topics in 1966 and foreign editor in 1976.

Gusewelle left the foreign editorship in 1979 to become associate editor and columnist.  He was named daily columnist of the year in 1984, 1985 and 1987 by the Missouri Press Association.  

He has traveled extensively on assignment for The Star in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, West Europe, East Europe and the former Soviet Union.  In 1984, 1985 and 1986, he wrote his three-times-weekly column from France and from Dakar, Senegal.

Besides his newspaper reporting and commentary, his articles and short fiction have appeared in Harper’s, American Heritage, The Paris Review and many other magazines and journals.  He was awarded The Paris Review’s Aga Khan Prize for Fiction in 1977.

Military service:  1956-1958, 1st Lieutenant Infantry, 82nd Airborne Division.

In 1978, his short story, “Horst Wessel,” was selected for inclusion in the Pushcart Prize III anthology of American writing.  In 1985, his essay, “The Winds of Ruin,” was included in the anthology A Sense of History:  The Best Writing from the Pages of American Heritage.

Gusewelle was the American leader of the 1991 joint U.S.-Russian 2,700-mile expedition from the source to the mouth of the Lena River in Siberia.  He wrote, produced and narrated a 90-minute television documentary of the journey, entitled “A Great Current Running.”

In 1997 he wrote and narrated the Kansas City documentary, “This Place Called Home,” which was awarded a regional Emmy.  His documentary, “Water and Fire: A Story of the Ozarks,” premiered in March 2000 on Kansas City Public Television.  It was judged best documentary and “best in show” in a competition among more than 70 public television stations in the U.S.  The documentary, “Stories Under the Stone,” which Gusewelle wrote and hosted, premiered 2005.

He is the author of 12 books and is listed in Who’s Who in America.  He was inducted in 2000 into the Writers Hall of Fame of America, and was inducted in 2007 into the Missouri Press Association Newspaper Hall of Fame.  He is married to the former Katie Jane Ingels of Jefferson City, MO.  They have two daughters.

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