Ithaca Blog

Friday, January 09, 2009

William Zantzinger Dies; Target of Early Dylan Song

William Zantzinger, the subject of the 1964 Bob Dylan song, "The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll," has died at age 69.

At age 24 Zantzinger, of a wealthy Maryland family, struck and killed Hattie Carroll, a 51-year old Baltimore hotel worker and mother of 10, for not serving him quickly enough at a party.

Zantzinger received a jail sentence of six months.

"The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll" became an important song in the civil rights movement with its stark depiction of injustice for people of color in America, in life and death.

Four decades after its release, the song remains perhaps Mr. Dylan's most lyrically accomplished.

Stephen Burke
for Ithaca Blog

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