Roy Blount, Jr.


Biography of Roy Blount, Jr.

Roy Alton Blount, Jr. (born October 4, 1941) is an American writer. Best known as a humorist, Blount is also a reporter, speaker and versifier who claims that he can't act but did appear as himself in a cameo in "Treme," and is heartbrokenly unable to make music in any form yet performs in an ill-defined capacity with the Rock Bottom Remainders, a rock band composed entirely of writers. He is also a former president of the Authors Guild.

Blount was born in Indianapolis, Indiana. He attended Ponce de Leon Elementary School and graduated from Decatur High School in Decatur, Georgia, where he was class president and editor of the school newspaper, The Scribbler. He received the Grantland Rice Journalism Scholarship to study journalism at Vanderbilt University where he distinguished himself and was Phi Beta Kappa and graduated magna cum laude. He went on to Harvard University where he received his M.A degree.

In 2002, he narrated The Main Stream, a PBS documentary about the Mississippi River. As of 2011 he is featured regularly as a panelist on the NPR news/comedy quiz show, Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me!. He has also been a recurring guest on A Prairie Home Companion. In May 2010 he made a cameo appearance on HBO's series Treme about post-Katrina New Orleans.

On 24 February 2009, Blount wrote an op-ed article for The New York Times explaining the Authors Guild's position demanding extra royalties from the text-to-speech functionality of the Amazon Kindle 2. To criticism from the American National Federation of the Blind, he replied that free audio availability of copyright works to the blind is provided for automatically by American copyright laws. To the criticism that the Kindle's functionality is equivalent to parents reading aloud to their children, he said that, "the Authors Guild does not expect royalties from anybody doing non-commercial performances of 'Goodnight Moon'. If parents want to send their children off to bed with the voice of Kindle 2, however, it’s another matter." Roy is married to painter Joan Griswold.

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