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Grady Edward Clay Edit Profile

editor , author

Grady Edward Clay, American author, editor. Nieman fellow Harvard University, 1948-1949, Guggenheim fellow, 1973.


Clay, Grady Edward was born on November 5, 1916 in Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States. Son of Grady Edward and Eleanor (Solomon) Clay.


AB, Emory University, 1938. Doctor of Humane Letters (honorary), Emory University, 1987. Master of Science, Columbia University, 1939.


He also was chairman of the jury that judged the design competition for the United States' Vietnam Veterans Memorial, was the Urban Affairs editor for the Louisville Courier-Journal, and provided a commentary segment, "Crossing the American Grain" which aired locally during National Public Radio's Morning Edition. In 1999, he was awarded the Olmsted Medal by ASLA. Clay also is a former president of the American Planning Association (formerly the American Society of Planning Officials) and was awarded an honorary doctorate by Emory University. In an article from the July 2006 Landscape Architecture Magazine, editor J. William "Bill" Thompson noted that Clay "once forecast that the design profession with the best information was going to dominate the others –and he wasn't at all sure that landscape architecture had the capacity to generate the best information".

Before Grady Clay was editor of LAM, most articles were written by professional landscape architects. During his tenure, many contributions were by professional writers without architecture credentials. He published Ian McHarg's ecological planning research, and covered areas that included use of native species for plantings, landscape sculpture and adventure playgrounds.

Clay grew up in Atlanta, Georgia, the son of an eye surgeon. After 1939, Clay lived in Louisville, Kentucky, and was still actively writing and gardening. Most of his professional papers went to the University of Louisville.

His journals and other papers going back to 1939 are in the archives of the Loeb Library at Harvard. Clay died in Louisville, on March 17, 2013, at the age of 96.


  • He was a founder of the Crescent Hill Community Association, a neighborhood association.



Founding member Citizens metropolitan Planning county, 1956, Kentucky Planning League, 1960s. Trustee American Planning & Civic Association, 1958-1963. Member of advisory board Envirionic Foundation, Inc., since 1971, Kentuckiana Metroversity, 1973, The Competition Project, Louisville, since 1987.

With Army of the United States, 1942-1946. Member American Institute of Architects (honorary), American Society Landscape Architects (honorary), Society Nieman Fellows, American Society Planning Officials (president 1973), National Association Real Estate Editors (president 1958, Chairman of the Board 1960), Louisville Country Club, Wynn-Stay Club, Salmagundi Club, Clear Creek Beagles Club, Cosmos Club.


Married Nanine Irwin Hilliard, April 25, 1941 (divorced 1976). Children: Grady Edward III, Theodore Hilliard, Peter Maitland. Married Judith A. McCandless, 1976.

Grady Edward Clay

Eleanor (Solomon) Clay

Nanine Irwin Hilliard

Judith A. McCandless

Grady Edward III Clay

Theodore Hilliard Clay

Peter Maitland Clay