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Philip Hearn Collection

 Unprocessed Collection
Identifier: AM17-67

Scope and Contents

Research materials for book, Hurricane Camille: Monster Storm of the Gulf Coast.


  • Creation: circa 1969-2004


Conditions Governing Access

Noncirculating; available for research.

Conditions Governing Use

This collection may be protected from unauthorized copying by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code).

Biographical / Historical

Born in Laurel, Mississippi, Phil Hearn is the author of Hurricane Camille: Monster Storm of the Gulf Coast, a painfully compelling account of what many consider to be the most powerful storm ever to strike the U.S. mainland, as seen through the eyes of survivors. Based primarily on the first-person accounts housed in the oral history archives of the University of Southern Mississippi, the book was published by University Press of Mississippi in August 2004.

A former longtime newspaper reporter and editor, Hearn worked in the Jackson, Mississippi, and Birmingham, Alabama, bureaus of United Press International from 1968-1980; and his last newspaper job was as managing editor of the Greenwood Commonwealth in Greenwood, Miss., from 1983-1984.

Hearn covered a wide variety of breaking stories during his newspaper career that included the desegregation of Mississippi public schools, the trial and conviction of Ku Klux Klan terrorist bomber Thomas Tarrants, the slaying of black high school graduate Jo Etha Collier in Drew, Mississippi, events surrounding construction of the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway, the return of American troops from Vietnam, then-presidential candidate Ronald Reagan’s 1980 campaign speech at the Neshoba County Fair, the Mississippi Flood of 1979 and Hurricane Frederick, also in 1979.

He also covered four gubernatorial administrations, legislative sessions, state penitentiary conditions, state College Board meetings, the Civil Rights Movement in Mississippi, college football games, and state and national elections in Mississippi. Hearn has served since April 2003 as a research writer in the University Relations Office at Mississippi State University. He served for more than eighteen years as news directior for the University Relations Office at USM. During these years, Hearn won nine awards from the Council for the Advancement and Support of Higher Education (CASE)–including three first-place awards for news and feature writing, and for innovation. He also has won more than a dozen awards from the College Public Relations Association of Mississippi, serving two separate terms on the organization’s board of directors. He also served as an associate member of the Mississippi Press Association for eighteen years.

Hearn served for twenty years in military public affairs with the Mississippi Army National Guard’s 102nd Public Information Detachment, and with the U.S. Army Reserve’s 3rd Personnel Command, retiring from service in 1995 as a commissioned officer. In 1991, he won the Thomas Jefferson Award, the U.S. Defense Department’s highest award for feature writing, worldwide, in all branches of active and reserve military service. He has been published in Army Reserve and Vietnam magazines.

Hearn earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Southern Mississippi in 1966 and received a master’s degreee in public relations from USM in 1987. He also has completed twelve hours toward a master’s degree in history. Early in his newspaper career, he worked for the Meridian Star, Hattiesburg American and Jackson Clarion-Ledger.


2 Cubic Feet : 302A.B15.F7

Language of Materials



Given By: Philip Hearn

Date of Receipt: June 9, 2014

Related Materials

M259 Bob Hubbard Hurricane Camille Photographs

M282 Hurricanes of the Mississippi Gulf Coast Research Collection

M315 Hurricane Camille Photograph Collection


Hurricane Camille: monster storm of the Gulf Coast by Philip D. Hearn. Jackson, Miss. : University Press of Mississippi, c2004.

Philip Hearn Collection
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Repository Details

Part of the Historical Manuscripts and Photographs Repository

118 College Drive - 5148
Hattiesburg MS 39406-0001