Buddy Sullivan - About Buddy Sullivan
Buddy Sullivan - Coastal Georgia Historian/Lecturer, Researcher, Consultant
About Buddy Sullivan...
     A native of Savannah and McIntosh County, Georgia, with generational roots in Charleston, S.C. going back to the 1700s, Sullivan spent his youth and adolescence "messing about" boats and bateaux amid the salt marshes, tidal mudflats, creeks, rivers and sounds of the Georgia coast, an exposure that played a major role in his lifelong interest in local and regional history. His maternal McIntosh County roots go back to 1894 when his great-grandfather, Thomas Marshall Hunter, arrived to pastor the Darien Presbyterian Church. His paternal genealogy is associated with the Sumner-Sullivan family of south Georgia (Worth, Turner and Tift counties).
     A graduate of LaGrange College, Sullivan spent 16 years as a professional sports writer for several daily newspapers in Georgia and Florida, covering primarily Southeastern Conference college football with his main "beat" being the University of Georgia Bulldogs from 1968-1984 during the Coach Vince Dooley heyday years. Later, as editor of his hometown Darien News for nine years (1984-1993) he began his historical research and writing in earnest with Early Days on the Georgia Tidewater being his first major work, the first edition of which was published in 1990, followed by five subsequent, updated and expanded, editions. This definitive history of McIntosh County, Darien and Sapelo Island was followed in 2000 by another comprehensive county history, From Beautiful Zion to Red Bird Creek, a detailed history of Bryan County, Georgia. Sullivan has also authored Georgia: A State History, written under the auspices of the Georgia Historical Society and being the first "modern" history of the state. His latest books include Sapelo: People and Place on a Georgia Sea Island (2016, University of Georgia Press), A Georgia Tidewater Companion: Essays, Papers and Some Personal Observations on 30 Years of Research in Coastal History (2015), and Early Days on the Georgia Tidewater: A New Revised Edition (2016). His other books have been specialized in nature, covering rice cultivation on the coast, the timber and maritime shipping trade of the 19th century and a number of short studies about the historic Ashantilly house near Darien, tabby architecture, an archaeological perspective of the Darien waterfront, Georgia coastal lighthouse history, the Darien Bank, the Darien Presbyterian Church, Sapelo Island and others.
     Sullivan served as Director of the Sapelo Island National Estuarine Research Reserve from 1993 to 2013. He served on the Board of Curators of the Georgia Historical Society from 1996 to 2007 and has been president of the Lower Altamaha Historical Society (Darien) and the Richmond Hill Historical Society. Sullivan is currently serving as the Senior Historian of the Coastal Georgia Historical Society, St.; Simons Island, president of the Lower Altamaha Historical Society, and he is a member of the Georgia Historical Society, the United States Naval Institute and the Savannah Council of the Navy League of the United States.
     Among his awards and honors Sullivan was awarded the Governor's Medal in the Humanities by the Georgia Humanities Council (2005), the Lilla M. Hawes Award for the outstanding book on Georgia history (2001) from the Georgia Historical Society, the National History Award Medal from the Daughters of the American Revolution (2000) and the Sarah Nichols Pinckney Volunteer of the Year Award from the Georgia Historical Society (2010).
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