William Alsup

Official Panelist

2023 Participant · Fiction · Historical · Mississippi

William Alsup
William Alsup

William Alsup is a Senior United States District Judge in San Francisco. Before his appointment in 1999, he had been in private practice, had served as Assistant to the Solicitor General, and had clerked for Justice William O. Douglas. More to our immediate interest, however, Judge Alsup is a mountaineer, photographer, and writer. During more than 150 backcountry explorations of the Sierra Nevada, he has, were it all told, slept on granite for more than a year and has hiked, were it all laid straight, across the continent. For 45 years, his large format photography -- all traditional film and silver gelatin -- has focused on the Sierra, the East Side, the Foothills, and our Central Valley. In the nineties, the thrill of the Sierra led him to investigate and to write Missing in the Minarets: The Search for Walter A. Starr, Jr., the true story of the 1933 search for Walter "Pete" Starr, who had set off to climb alone in the Range of Light but went missing. Mountaineers destined for lasting fame led the search, a search that fell right in the middle of the Eastern District. In addition to Missing in the Minarets, Judge Alsup has penned three other published books: Such A Landscape! (1987), about the 1864 expedition of the California Geological Survey; Won Over: Reflections of a Federal Judge on His Journey from Jim Crow Mississippi (2019); and The Trial of Lee Harvey Oswald (2022).

Book cover

Book Title(s)

  • The Trial of Lee Harvey Oswald: A Novel

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