Devery S. Anderson

Devery S. Anderson (1960- ) is a historian specializing in Mormon history.


Anderson was born in Longview, Washington, Cowlitz County, to Clare E. and Cecelia Fournier Anderson. He attended schools in Longview, where he graduated from Mark Morris High School in 1978. He went on to attend Ricks College in Rexburg, Idaho, Lower Columbia College in Longview, Washington, and the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, where he obtained a B.A. in history. From July 1979 to June 1981 he served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in London, England.

In 1984 he married Marlene Kandy Grantham, and is the father of three children: Amanda, born 1985, Tyler, born 1992, and Jordan, born 1994. Devery and Marlene were divorced in 1997.


Anderson has published several articles on Mormon history, including an award-winning series on the "History of Dialogue" in the scholarly journal, Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought. He has delivered papers at several meetings of the Sunstone Symposium, Mormon History Association, and the John Whitmer Historical Association. In 2005, Signature Books published the two-volume work, Joseph Smith's Quorum of the Anointed: A Documentary History, 1842-1845 , and The Nauvoo Endowment Companies: A Documentary History, 1845-1846, which Anderson co-edited with Gary James Bergera. The books won a special award in editing at the 2005 meeting of the John Whitmer Historical Association in Springfield, Illinois, and in May 2006, won the Steven F. Christiansen Award for Best Documentary at the Mormon History Association annual meeting in Casper, Wyoming. He published the introduction to the first of these volumes as "The Anointed Quorum in Nauvoo, 1842-1845," in the Journal of Mormon History 29 (Spring 2003). He is also writing a biography of early Mormon apostle Willard Richards.

Outside of Mormon history, Anderson is a leading authority on the Emmett Till murder of 1955, the case that served as a major catalyst for launching the Civil Rights Movement. He is currently writing a book to be titled The Boy Who Never Died: The Fifty Year Saga of the Emmett Till Murder, which promises to be the definitive work on the subject, and runs a very informative site on the case. He has made several research trips to Mississippi where the murder occurred, and has interviewed witnesses, journalists who covered the trial, trial spectators, and others who were there at the time. He maintained a close friendship with Mamie Till-Mobley, the mother of Emmett Till, from December 1996 until her death in January 2003. He speaks about the case at schools and colleges in the United States.


External links

Devery's three articles comprising the "History of Dialogue:

  • Devery S. Anderson, "A History of Dialogue, Part One: The Early Years, 1965-1971,” Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, 32:2 (Summer 1999): 15-67.
  • Devery S. Anderson, "A History of Dialogue, Part Two: Struggle toward Maturity, 1971-1982," Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, 33:2 (Summer 2000): 1-96.
  • Devery S. Anderson, "A History of Dialogue, Part Three: "Coming of Age" in Utah, 1982-1987," Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, 35: 2 (Summer 2002): 1-71.
  • Ralph W. Hansen, "Letter to Editor" (responding to Devery’s 1st Dialogue history article and recounting Hansen’s 10 years of participation in Dialogue), Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, 32:4: (Winter 1999)iv-vi.

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