An excellent exploration of a well-known mountaineer. Well researched, well written and a credit to its author.
by Geoffrey Worthing
EMIL WILLIAM HENRY ---BRIEF BIOGRAPHY
Emil Henry, author of Triumph and Tragedy: the Life of Edward Whymper, learned a startling secret many years ago during a holiday weekend in Zermatt, Switzerland. The summit of the
Matterhorn , known in Whymper’s day as the “impossible mountain,” could be reached by a novice climber if led by a professional guide. Emil returned to the quaint Swiss village in August, 1984, and with guide Rickie Andenmatten confirmed the truth of what he had been told. In a Zermatt book shop he discovered Whymper through Scrambles Amongst the Alps, the mountaineer’s enduring memoir of his Alpine climbs.
Born in Memphis, Tennessee near the banks of the Mississippi River, a youthful Emil
Henry enjoyed woodland camping, canoeing, duck hunting, and fishing. In later years,
living and working as a lawyer in Washington, D. C., he hiked in the Blue Ridge
Mountains of Virginia and rode to foxhounds in their rolling green foothills. He rafted
the Colorado River’s swift waters through the Grand Canyon, and with children and
grandchildren rambled among the high peaks of the Rocky Mountains.
Henry served for three years as an officer in the U. S. Navy, graduated from Vanderbilt University’s law school, and as a lawyer became a devotee of the written word. After working in John F. Kennedy’s presidential campaign, he was appointed by the new President to the Federal Communications Commission and served for three years as the agency’s Chairman. Following Joseph Campbell’s advice, he has blissfully devoted full time to writing since the late 1990s.