Richard Kelly, a native New Yorker, was a graduate student at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, when he became a devoted fan ofThe Andy Griffith Show. Since then, Dr. Kelly has gone on to become an English professor at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. His specialty is 19th-century English literature and he has written biographies of Douglas Jerrold, Lewis Carroll, George Du Maurier, and Graham Greene.
In 1975, Dr. Kelly decided to depart from his Victorian humor to write a critical study of his favorite television show. In 1981, The Andy Griffith Show was first published.
Richard Kelly, and his wife, Barbara Kelly (co-author of The Carolina Watermen) have been regular visitors to Holden Beach since 1983. Barbara is an administrator for a community-action agency in Knoxville, where she and Richard live.