Thomas Dixon, Jr.

Thomas Dixon, Jr.

Novelist + Playwright + Minister + Lecturer

Thomas F. Dixon, Jr. was a Southern Baptist minister, playwright, lecturer, North Carolina state legislator, lawyer, and author, perhaps best known for writing The Clansman — which was to become the inspiration for D. W. Griffith's film, The Birth of a Nation (1915).… Read More

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1864 Birth Born on January 11, 1864.


1877 13 Years Old In 1877, Dixon entered the Shelby Academy, where he earned a diploma in only two years.
1879 15 Years Old In September 1879 Dixon enrolled at Wake Forest where he studied history and political science.
1883 19 Years Old As a student there, Dixon performed remarkably well, and in 1883, after only four years, Dixon earned a masters degree. … Read More


1884 20 Years Old On January 11, 1884, despite the objections of his friend Woodrow Wilson, Dixon left Johns Hopkins University to pursue an education and a career on the stage. … Read More
1885 21 Years Old An excellent student, Dixon received his law degree in 1885. … Read More
Dixon retired from politics in 1886 after only one term in the legislature. … Read More
1887 23 Years Old On April 10, 1887 Dixon moved to the Second Baptist Church in Raleigh, North Carolina. … Read More
1889 25 Years Old In August 1889, Dixon accepted a post in New York City, despite the fact that his Boston congregation was willing to double his pay if he would stay. … Read More


1894 30 Years Old …  The most popular of which were 'The Clansman' and 'The Leopard's Spots,' from which 'The Birth of a Nation' was dramatized. -- His Wife Madelyn Donovan 1894-1975." … Read More
1895 31 Years Old So, in 1895, Dixon resigned from the Baptist ministry, and started preaching at a nondenominational church.
1899 35 Years Old He continued preaching there until 1899 when he began to lecture full time. … Read More


1910 46 Years Old …  In the play, The Sins of the Father, which was produced in 1910-11, Dixon himself played the leading role.


1915 51 Years Old His photoplay, The Birth of a Nation, appeared in 1915. … Read More


1939 75 Years Old 1 More Event
He wrote his last novel, The Flaming Sword, in 1939 and not long after he was crippled by a cerebral hemorrhage. … Read More
1946 82 Years Old Died on April 3, 1946.
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