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Eugene McKinney

It is with deep sadness we announce the death of Eugene McKinney, professor emeritus of speech and drama. 

Professor McKinney died in San Antonio on Wednesday, Dec. 1. He was 88.

Professor McKinney, a well regarded playwright who scripted several stage and television productions, was  Trinity’s playwright-in-residence for 24 years.

He was born in Fort Worth in 1922. He attended Baylor University but left in 1942 to join the U.S. Army during World War II. 

While a sergeant with the 3rd Army in Europe, Professor McKinney received a battlefield commission and became a 2nd lieutenant. At the end of the war,  he returned to Baylor and earned his bachelor’s in 1947 and his master’s in 1948.

After receiving his graduate degree, he became a professor at Baylor where he was a member of the faculty from 1949 until 1963. 

In 1959, he became a professor of playwriting at the Dallas Theater Center and became director of the Center’s graduate program in 1984.  

In 1963, Professor McKinney was one of several faculty members who came to Trinity with Professor Paul Baker after Baker  resigned as chairman of Baylor’s drama department.  McKinney retired from Trinity in 1987.

Professor McKinney had 12 of his plays produced, including A Different Drummer, Cross-Eyed Bear, The Answer is Two, and Of Time and the River.  

He also wrote for television, and his scripts included “A Different Drummer” for CBS; “So Deeply in the Well Known Heart Of” for NBC;  and “I Came, I Saw, I Left” for ABC.

He is survived by his wife Treysa and son Michael. A memorial service was held on Sunday, Dec. 5, at Woodland Baptist Church in San Antonio. 

Donations may be made in Professor McKinney’s memory to the Baker Idea Institute, 5938 Skillman, Dallas, Texas 75231.


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