- The Washington Times - Friday, August 13, 2004

Lon Savage, a Charleston, W.Va., native who wrote “Thunder in the Mountains,” a history of the West Virginia mine wars in 1920 and 1921, died Aug. 2 at his home in Salem, Va. He was 75.

Mr. Savage had said he wrote the book because the mine wars, the largest armed uprising in America since the Civil War, were not mentioned in most West Virginia histories.

He learned about the wars from his father, who fought against the thousands of miners who took up arms.

The book was released in 1985 and was used as a resource for Denise Giardina’s 1987 book “Storming Heaven” and for John Sayles’ critically acclaimed film “Matewan.”

After graduating from Charleston High School and Cornell University, Mr. Savage worked as a journalist before becoming an assistant to the president of Virginia Tech, where he stayed for 23 years.

He is survived by his wife, two daughters, two sons and a brother.

A memorial service was held in Salem.


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