John Ehle

John Ehle (1925-2018) grew up the eldest of five children in the mountains of North Carolina, which would become the setting for many of his novels and several works of nonfiction. Following service in World War II, Ehle received his BA and MA at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he met the playwright Paul Green and began writing plays for the NBC radio series American Adventure. He taught at the university for ten years before joining the staff of the North Carolina governor Terry Sanford, where Ehle was a “one-man think tank,” the governor’s “idea man” from 1962 to 1964. (Sanford once said of Ehle: “If I were to write a guidebook for new governors, one of my main suggestions would be that he find a novelist and put him on his staff.”) Ehle was the author of eleven novels, seven of which constitute his celebrated Mountain Novels cycle, and six works of nonfiction. He had one daughter, actress Jennifer Ehle, with his wife Rosemary Harris, also an actress.