In the Lead-off Spot...
Publicist and Publications Editor
Mark Twain House & Museum Publicist and Publications Editor Steve Courtney won the 2009 Connecticut Book Award for Joseph Hopkins Twichell: The Life and Times of Mark Twain’s Closest Friend (University of Georgia Press, 2008). His most recent book, published to acclaim in the fall of 2011, is ‘The Loveliest Home That Ever Was’: The Story of the Mark Twain House in Hartford (Dover), with a Foreword by Hal Holbrook and photographs by John Groo.
In the past decade, Courtney has frequently written and spoken on Samuel Clemens’ friend Twichell and his role in literary and social history. He co-edited, with Peter Messent, The Civil War Letters of Joseph Hopkins Twichell: A Chaplain's Story (University of Georgia Press, 2006). He founded and leads an annual eight-mile walk in the Hartford area commemorating similar autumn and spring walks Twichell and Clemens took.
Courtney is also a freelance editor and researcher, having worked in this capacity on a major new biography of William Gillette, the American stage portrayer of Sherlock Holmes; a work on the ethical basis of American political philosophy; a history of the Ensign Bickford corporation; and a major biography of inventor and industrialist Joseph Gerber.
He has been a journalist for 36 years, more than twenty of them at The Hartford Courant in Hartford, Connecticut. There he was a bureau chief, copy editor, book reviewer, interviewer and writer on scientific, historical and literary subjects, including an acclaimed series on the then-little-known work of Yale biologist Thomas Steitz, the 2009 Nobel Prize winner in Chemistry. Courtney was Deputy Editor of Northeast, the Courant's Sunday magazine, for five years, and served as President of Sunmag, the national organization of Sunday magazine editors.
Courtney received his Bachelor of Science degree in History from Charter Oak State College in 1997.