Michael V. Hazel, Ph.D.



Michael V. Hazel is a native Dallasite and a fifth-generation Texan. He graduated from Highland Park High School and earned his B.A. in history from SMU and his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Chicago.

For the past 39 years, Dr. Hazel has concentrated on local history, working for Old City Park from 1981 to 1988, and for the Dallas Historical Society from 1988 to 1992 (serving both organizations as Interim Director). For four years, he was part of a team of historians working to create a museum of Dallas County history in the Old Red Courthouse.

Since 1989 Dr. Hazel has edited Legacies, a regional history journal jointly published by six local historical organizations. He has also edited and written 14 books, including Dallas Reconsidered (1995), Dallas: A History of Big D (1997), Dallas: A Dynamic Century (1998), Stanley Marcus from A to Z (2000), The Dallas Public Library: Celebrating a Century of Service (2001), and Historic Photos of Dallas (2006).

Dr. Hazel has also taught Dallas history at SMU and museum studies at the University of North Texas. From 1999 to 2019, he coordinated the Annual Legacies Dallas History Conference co-sponsored by sixteen local history groups.

He is currently coordinating an effort to add more entries relating to Tarrant and Dallas counties to the Handbook of Texas Online, a project sponsored by the Texas State Historical Association.


Dallas: A History of "Big D"

Dallas first grabbed the national imagination in 1936 when it hosted the Texas Centennial Exposition. Since then, the fascination with "Big D" has seldom flagged. If the assassination of President Kennedy in 1963 cast a pall over the city, the success of the Dallas Cowboys and the popularity of the television series "Dallas" revived the image of a glitzy, hustling metropolis at the center of the Sunbelt.In this concise overview, Hazel examines the city's roots as a frontier market town, its development as a regional transportation center, and its growing pains as it entered the twentieth century. Ku Klux Klan dominance in the 1920s is chronicled, as well as the half-century of control by an elite group of businessmen. The narrative concludes with a look at today's city, struggling with issues of diversity.The author pays special attention to the role of ethnic groups in shaping Dallas: the French colonists of the 1850s; the German, Swiss, and Italian immigrants of the 1870s and 1880s; the Mexican Americans of the early twentieth century; and the Southeast Asians of recent decades. He also examines the role of African Americans, who came with the first Anglos and struggled for more than a century to gain equality.Dallas: A History of Big D is based on pioneer letters and reminiscences, as well as the research of recent years. Written in a popular style, it will appeal to scholars and general readers curious about how Dallas grew to become the nation's eighth largest city.
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