John Steele Henderson

John Steele Henderson

March 3, 1919 to February 26, 2007

John was born in Durham, North Carolina to Minna Curtis Bynum Henderson and Archibald Henderson, Sr. He was the youngest of five children: Curtis, Elizabeth, Barbara, and Archibald, Jr. He attended public school in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. He received his B.A. and M.A. in Economics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and his Ph.D from the University of Louisiana at Baton Rouge. While finishing his doctorate, he met Anne Miller, the love of his life. They were engaged, and married after Anne graduated from college. They had four children--Eleanor, Windy, Elizabeth, and Richard. He was survived at the time of his death by his brother Archibald, his wife Anne, his four children and four grandchildren: Elizabeth, Colin, Matthew, and Catherine. His career as a college professor took him to Carnegie Tech in Pittsburgh, the University of Florida at Gainesville, the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa, and Georgia State University in Atlanta. He was the author of two books and several articles in economics.

The Episcopal Church was the focus of his community service. He was a Sunday School Teacher, Lay Reader, and leader of Junior EYC at Canterbury Chapel in Tuscaloosa and at Saint Bartholomew's parish in Atlanta. The achievement of which he was most proud was passing a resolution during his tenure as president of the local chapter of AAUP (the American Association of University Professors) to admit the first African American student, Authorine Lucy, to the University of Alabama. He did this at great cost to his own safety and that of his family.

He was a man of extensive learning and charm, who could converse with people from all walks of life on many subjects.

His favorite composer was Brahms.
His favorite play was Hamlet.
His favorite poem was Kipling's If.
He read Hamlet and The Iliad about once a year, and The Lord of the Rings every few years.

John's goal in life was to be a good person. Everyone who knew him concurs that he met his goal.

Memorial reading of The Iliad completed December 17, 2007; of Hamlet December 22, 2007

John's letter, first page    John's letter, second page    John's letter, PDF