Pellom McDaniels III, curator of African American collections at the Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library at Emory University in Atlanta, died on April 19 at his home in Decatur, Georgia. He was 52 years old.
“The depth of our sorrow and grief at Pellom’s passing is matched only by our boundless appreciation and admiration for the tremendous gifts and contributions Pellom brought to his life’s work to elevate and celebrate African American history,” says Rose Library director Jennifer Gunter King. “The Rose Library and the world have lost a giant of a scholar and friend. Pellom’s vision is well established and will continue to guide the future of the Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library.”
McDaniels joined the faculty at Emory University in 2012 as an assistant professor in the department of African American studies and the associate curator of African American collections for the Rose Library. He became the full-time curator in 2018. Earlier in his academic career, Dr. McDaniels was an assistant professor of history at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
Dr. McDaniels was the author or editor of several books, including Porter, Steward, Citizen: An African American’s Memoir of World War I (Oxford University Press, 2017) and The Prince of Jockeys: The Life of Isaac Burns Murphy (University of Kentucky Press, 2013).
A native of San Jose, California, Dr. McDaniels was a graduate of Oregon State University, where he majored in speech communication and graduated in three years. He went on to play for the Kansas City Chiefs and Atlanta Falcons of the National Football League. He earned a master’s degree and Ph.D. in American studies from Emory University.