Young was born in Woodfin, North Carolina, near Asheville, the youngest of 13 children. His mother was Rheba Maphry Tipton Young. His father, Robert, died in 1958. He edited his high school newspaper and earned a scholarship to University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1959. He graduated in December 1993.
Dropping out of UNC, Young worked for several newspapers, including the Durham Morning Herald, the Raleigh News & Observer and the Chapel Hill Weekly. In 1963, he covered the N.C. General Assembly for UPI. He also worked as part of Richardson Preyer's failed gubernatorial campaign in 1964, and joined the Army Reserves in 1966. He then went to work for United Press International in 1967.
Young took an assignment with UPI in Vietnam, arriving in Saigon on January 29, 1968, and his first story was about the Tet Offensive, which began later that night. While covering the war, he roomed with fellow journalists Tim Page, Sean Flynn, and Nik Wheeler. He left after witnessing the near-fatal injuries to Page. In 1975, his book Two of the Missing was published. The memoir was based on a magazine article of the same name that Young wrote in Harper's Magazine in December 1972, with the intention of later writing a book about the disappearance of Flynn and Stone. He had met and worked with them in Vietnam covering the war, and they went missing after Young had left. The movie rights to Two of the Missing are currently held by Ralph Hemecker and Mythic Films.
Perry Deane Young and Sean Flynn walking on the beach in Vietnam when they were covering the war there. Photo courtesy: Perry Deane Young
After reading of Kopay's post-retirement revelation of being gay, Young offered to help Kopay write a book. The offer was accepted, and in 1977, the book appeared on the New York Times Best Seller list.
A Killing Cure, about Evelyn Walker's malpractice suit against psychiatrist Zane Parzen, was published in 1982.
He was a columnist for The Chapel Hill Herald from 1996–2003.
In addition to the books, Young has written three plays with William Gregg. All three were produced by the Southern Appalachian Repertory Theatre: Frankie in 2001; Mountain of Hope in 2004; Home Again, 2009.
Young has long acknowledged that he is gay, writing candidly about it in Two of the Missing, and has written or co-written books with gay-related themes, including The David Kopay Story and Lesbians and Gays and Sports. He has lived in the basement of a non-profit counseling and support group in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, working around the building in lieu of rent, since 1993.
The David Kopay Story: An Extraordinary Self-revelation by Perry Deane Young
Mass Market Paperback: 296 pages
Publisher: Plume; Rev Sub edition (January 1, 1995)
Amazon: The David Kopay Story: An Extraordinary Self-revelation
Twenty-three years after publishing his story, David Kopay remains the only NFL player who has publicly acknowledged his homosexuality. From psychotherapy to hypnosis to heartbreaking family confrontations to finally surprising acceptance from former teammates and coaches, this is a story of denial leading to acceptance, and finally to pride. As inspiring today as it was upon publication, Advocate Books is proud to make The David Kopay Story available to a new generation of readers.
Two of the Missing: Remembering Sean Flynn and Dana Stone by Perry Deane Young
Paperback: 296 pages
Publisher: Press 53 (May 19, 2009)
Amazon: Two of the Missing: Remembering Sean Flynn and Dana Stone
On April 6, 1970, Vietnam War photojournalists Sean Flynn (son of Errol Flynn) and Dana Stone set off on two rented motorcycles to cover one last story and were captured by Communist forces, never to be seen or heard from again. Their friend and fellow journalist, Perry Deane Young, tells their story here in a remarkable memoir first published in 1975. This new Press 53 Classics edition features photos by Flynn, Stone, their friends Tim Page, Nik Wheeler, and others, including a new chapter with updates on the lives of those involved and the ongoing search for two of the missing.
More LGBT History at my website: www.elisarolle.com/, My Ramblings/Persistent Voices
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