The Autobiography of David Pryor
With Don Harrell
years of Arkansas and U.S. politics brought to life by a key
“David Pryor is a great Arkansan and a great American.”
—Sen. Hillary Clinton
“David Pryor never stops giving back to the people of
Arkansas. His remarkable book is another service to our people
because it sheds light on important chapters of our state’s
—Gov. Mike Beebe
David Pryor’s career of public service is unparalleled
in Arkansas history: he has been elected state representative,
congressman, governor, and, alongside Dale Bumpers, U.S. senator
(1979–1997), a seat his son Mark Pryor now holds. Through
it all, Pryor’s curiosity, compassion, and concern for
ordinary Americans draw the reader from one colorful vignette
to another. His father sold Chevrolets, volunteered at church,
and held local office just to be sure the right things were
done in their community. Pryor’s richly detailed childhood
memories are worth the price of the book. Yet there is so
In the best tradition of American populists, Pryor followed
his insight into the lives of ordinary Arkansans and Americans.
He followed the voices of children in underfunded schools,
of local officials who lacked funding to fulfill their responsibilities,
of the elderly who needed adequate care in nursing homes.
Pryor threw himself into fray after fray as advocate—often
as champion—for the last, the least, and the neglected
of our society.
David Pryor’s mother, one of the the
first women to seek public office in Arkansas after women
achieved the right to vote, once told a family friend that
her son should not enter public life because he would be too
easily “disillusioned.” Perhaps she underestimated
her son—and the lessons she taught him. After nearly
half a century serving Arkansas and the nation, Pryor continues
to serve, now on the board of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
Don Harrell, a childhood friend of Pryor’s,
was the senator’s chief of staff during his years in
the U.S. Senate and has recently retired as chief of external
relations for TIAA-CREF in New York City, where he now resides.
ISBN 978-1-935106-10-4 | 1-935106-10-4
6 x 9, 388 pages, 60 photographs, index
ISBN 978-0-9800897-3-8 | 0-9800897-3-5
History Through the Eyes of David Pryor
Decorative poster of Arkansas and U.S. history as experienced
by Governor Pryor, told through
pictures taken throughout his life.
Ideal for educational purposes. Suitable for framing.
27 x 39, color and black and white photos
ISBN 978-1-935106-00-5 |1-935106-00-7
(Ships in a tube for secure delivery)
Distributed for the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies