Biography


When I was 16, a friend, a close friend, who is, believe it or not, still a close friend after almost 70 years, asked me if I would like to visit Gettysburg with him. It is about 125 miles from the city of our residence at that time. I thought it was a fine idea, so we went and so I was hooked, rather early in my life. I have since been back to that glorious place at least a half dozen times and have also toured dozens of other battle sites – though by no means all of them – around the country. So I have gotten to know the territory, and, of course, the history that goes with it, both of which became and still are a passion for me.

I have a B.A. and J.D. from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. I now live in Fairlawn, Ohio, which is a suburb of Akron, with my wife, Mary, who is retired after a career in public relations. Between us, we have seven children, all of whom have left the nest.

I joined Mary in retirement in January, 2016, after practicing law for 50 years. I am a student of history, with an emphasis on European and American history and with an even greater emphasis on the most defining event in American history, the Civil War. I am a member of the Cleveland Civil War Roundtable and have been its president. I am also a member of the Lincoln Forum, the Surratt Society, the Cleveland Grays and the Western Reserve Historical Society. I have taught Civil War history at Chautauqua Institution (in western New York State), frequently speak and present (PowerPoint) on the war and other subjects before Roundtables and other groups and have written and published more than 50 articles and essays on the war and other subjects. In addition, I have written a full-length book, titled Decapitating the Union: Jefferson Davis, Judah Benjamin and the Plot to Assassinate Lincoln, after five years of research and writing on the subject.The book was published by McFarland & Co., Publishers, and released in March, 2015. Copies are available from Amazon, from other online book sellers and from book stores. It has received excellent reviews, with 57 of 62 reviewers for Amazon giving it five stars. I have written a second book, titled Who Really Killed Lincoln: Four Smoking Guns. It is now being published and copies, therefore, are not yet available.

Boyhood chums Joe and John.
John, a few years later