Jack is seventy-two years old, and retired seven years ago following
a forty-three year career on the business side of the newspaper
industry. At retirement, he was the executive director of advertising
for the Las Vegas, NV, Review-Journal and Las Vegas Sun, and director
of new media for the Stephens Media Group.
He graduated from the University of Wisconsin in Madison in 1959
with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Journalism. Jack entered
the newspaper business shortly thereafter as an advertising trainee
on a small Southern California daily newspaper. He rose through
the ranks to retail advertising manager, promotion/marketing manager,
classified advertising manager and advertising director of Copley
Los Angeles Newspaper Group, before moving to Las Vegas in 1986.
During his career he served on the boards of numerous professional
newspaper organizations. He was also a board member, and often
officer, of twelve civic, business and charitable organizations
in Las Vegas.
The majority of Jack's writing before retirement was business
communication. He also taught classes on effective business and
sales correspondence; and wrote the course outline and teaching
notes for a for-credit licensed real estate marketing course in
California. He was the instructor for three years for the advertising
and marketing segments of the Newspaper Association of America's
"Seminar for Young Newspaper Men and Women." In the late 70s and
early 80s, in what he describes as "a period of creative exuberance,"
he wrote six or seven non-fiction magazine articles on history
and travel, and was published in "Travel & Leisure," "Kiwanis
Magazine" and a number of lesser publications. The biography of
John Ogden was his first book.
WHY I WROTE THESE TWO BOOKS
John Ogden is my great (9) grandfather, on my maternal grandmother's
side, and William B. Ogden a very distant cousin, many times removed.
Shortly after retirement I decided to try my hand at genealogy.
Although I didn't particularly enjoy the avocation -- too many
impersonal names and dates assigned to small, lifeless boxes -
I did discover that I was a direct descendant of one of our country's
very earliest citizens, John Ogden, the Pilgrim. I've always been
a very patriotic American, and this discovery filled me with a
great deal of pride. I decided to find out more about the man.
I purchased a copy of a 1907 family history, The Ogden Family
in America, a remarkable 532-page tome on Ogdens through
the centuries, and pored over it. I also ordered a number of history
books through our library's wonderful interlibrary loan program,
and began reading the earliest colonial histories of the places
Ogden had lived. I soon found there was a shameful dearth of information
about the man, despite his importance in early colonial America.
I also discovered that much of what had been written, even in
the most scholarly histories, had been taken from the Ogden Family
genealogy book. Over time, I began to relish every scrap of information
I could cull about John Ogden and his activities; and eventually,
I put this material into a small four-page monograph that I sent
to all my Ogden relatives I knew about.
Case closed. Or so I believed. But as I continued to read and
research I discovered that in professional genealogy circles going
all the way back to the 1970s, there was knowledge that much of
the material in Wheeler's Ogden genealogy book was inaccurate.
It seems that the person hired by the book's editors in the late
1890s to research Ogden's early roots in England was a con man.
A fraud. He had made up most of the material.
I decided to make it my mission to set it straight. This was,
after all, my great (9) grandfather; and he deserved to have his
story recorded, and have it recorded accurately.
That's the story. It does not reflect all the money I've spent
on this project, or the hundreds of hours spent researching in
dusty 350-year old archives, colonial town records and widely
scattered bookshelves. But that was the fun part.
My second book, on William B. Ogden, was simply an outgrowth of
the first. I had discovered him in my Ogden family research, found
out how historically important he was in American history; and
I decided he too deserved to have the story of his life recorded
Neither of these books are Ogden family books, nor genealogy studies,
although both of them are about the Ogden family. I chose to have
them published by the academic press, rather than the trade press,
because they were both first-time biographies; and I wanted to
insure that the books would be taken seriously by historians,
academics, and scholars.
TO CONTACT ME
I hope you enjoy reading these books, and I welcome your comments
and/or criticisms, and your questions. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org