A Passion for Living History
Kathryn Smith is a journalist, writer, and American history speaker who is fascinated by how history shapes our world. Her books are meticulously researched, using interviews, primary sources and first-hand observations. In researching her books, she immerses herself in past times and retraces the steps of her subjects. For example, for her book Gertie: The Fabulous Life of Gertrude Sanford Legendre, Heiress, Explorer, Socialite, Spy, Kathryn traced Legendre’s World War II POW experience, from the Ritz Hotel bar in Paris to her escape by train from Konstanz, Germany in the closing weeks of the war in Europe.
For her newest book, Baptists and Bootleggers: A Prohibition Expedition Through the South…with Cocktail Recipes, her research took her on a bourbon-tasting weekend in Louisville, Kentucky, a cocktail-making class at the American Prohibition Museum in Savannah, Georgia, and on a motorboat ride past Al Capone’s mansion in Miami Beach.
Kathryn is also the author of The Gatekeeper: Missy LeHand, FDR, and the Partnership That Defined a Presidency and a series of mystery novels featuring Missy LeHand as an amateur detective –- “the Nancy Drew of the New Deal” — co-authored with Kelly Durham. She lives in Anderson, South Carolina with her husband, Leo, who accompanies her on her travels.