Staige D. Blackford was VQR’s longest-serving editor, running the journal from 1975 to 2003. (For a complete list of VQR’s editors, click here.) Tasked with continuing the successful history of the Review, Blackford made subtle but important changes, and introduced such writers as Ann Beattie, Joyce Carol Oates, Robert Olen Butler, and Peter Taylor to its pages.
Prior to editing VQR, Blackford had a varied career which departed briefly from its editorial roots. While enrolled at the University of Virginia, he served as editor-in-chief of the student-run Cavalier Daily.In 1952 he ran an editorial titled “Scholastic Segregation” that challenged the university’s policy of segregation. This editorial led to the first public debate on desegregation at the University of Virginia.
Blackford went on to receive a second bachelor’s degree as a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University, then, in 1954, served for several years in the US Air Force and the CIA. Blackford then returned to writing and editing, working for such endeavors as Time magazine the Virginia-Pilot, and editor of the Louisiana State University Press.