Phil Hudgins worked more than half a century in the newspaper business, retiring as news training officer for a couple dozen papers owned by Community Newspapers Inc. of Athens, Georgia. He is the author of Grace and Disgrace (2023), as told to him by Ruby Nell Birt, wife of a hit man. He is co-author of two other books: Travels with Foxfire: Stories of People, Passions, and Practices from Southern Appalachia (Anchor Books, 2018), and I Took the Fork (2008), a memoir of journalist and philanthropist Lessie Smithgall, who died at 110. Phil is a 1964 graduate of the University of Georgia and a 1974 Nieman Fellow of Harvard University. He and his wife, Shirley, have two daughters, four grandchildren, and one great-grandchild.