William Best Hesseltine Award 2008-09 Winner Announced
Congratulations to William Povletich, winner of the 43rd
Annual William Best Hesseltine Award for Volume 92
of the Wisconsin Magazine of History.
His article, "Liberace: The Milwaukee Maestro," traces Liberace's early years before he reached superstardom. Born as Wladziu, which was later Americanized as Walter, Liberace grew up as a prodigy in the Milwaukee suburb of West Allis, Wisconsin. His father, Salvatore, encouraged all the Liberace children to learn an instrument at an early age, and little Walter began playing complicated pieces by age four. Liberace received his professional training at the Wisconsin College of Music, and throughout his career of glitz and glamour he never forgot his roots, deeply planted in West Allis. Access our online archives of the Wisconsin Magazine of History in order to read the article online.
Bill Povletich is a native Wisconsinite and University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh graduate. An award-winning documentary producer, his History Channel documentary projects include Rwanda: Do Scars Ever Fade? that earned a 2005 Peabody Award along with an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Information Program and Inside Pol Pot's Secret Prison, which was named Best Documentary in a Continuing Series for the prestigious 2002 International Documentary Association Distinguished Achievement Awards. Povletich is author of Milwaukee Braves: Heroes and Heartbreak from the Wisconsin Historical Society Press, and "When the Braves of Bushville Ruled Baseball: Celebrating Andy Pafko and the 1957 Milwaukee Braves" for the Wisconsin Magazine of History (Summer 2007). He currently lives in Los Angeles.
Established in memory of a past president of the Wisconsin
Historical Society and a distinguished University of Wisconsin
professor, the William Best Hesseltine Award honors an individual
article that appears in a four-issue volume of the magazine.
Readers have chosen the award winners since 2002.