Posted by: Loren Coleman on February 19th, 2007
In the United States today is President’s Day, which for many means a day off from work and for school children in some parts of the country, the beginning of a one-week vacation break. But, of course, it is about celebrating the days of birth of the USA’s former Presidents, especially of George Washington.
But there are others we can celebrate too. For example, today is the 71st birthday of Brad Steiger, the famous author of many books on the unexplained. Brad was born Eugene Olson in Fort Dodge, Iowa, on February 19, 1936.
Brad began his early adult life as a creative writing professor in Iowa. The stories I first heard about Brad, who has been a friend of mine for decades now, was of this mild-mannered professor who would run upstairs to his near-attic-like office, and pound out books at an incredible rate to support his family.
Brad’s life continued along a path that would merge his writing with a pen-name that became his own (he has officially changed his name). He found the time and space to allow himself the freedom to leave his former restrained framework behind him, and he shares his life today with his beloved Sherry.
Brad has written books since 1965, and his total output is at 162 books, until his next one appears.
Some of Brad Steiger’s books clearly show that his beginning interests overlapped with where the assignments in publishing wanted him to go, through some Hollywood connections. For example, his book Valentino (first edition, 1966) served as the basis for the 1977 motion picture, Valentino, directed by Ken Russell and starring Rudolf Nureyev, Michelle Phillips, and Leslie Caron. Steiger’s book, Unknown Powers (New York: Berkley, 1981) was adapted into the documentary scripted by Don Como, Richard Cory, and Steiger. The nonfiction movie won the Film Advisory Board’s Award of Excellence for 1979. The film featured Jack Palance as narrator with Will Geer, Roscoe Lee Browne, and Samantha Eggar.
His books also demonstrate his ability to dive into other subjects deeply. The Johnny Cash Story (New York: Lancer Books) and The Country Music Scrapbook (New York: Lancer Books) were both published in 1970.
Here’s a partial list of books that Steiger has authored or co-authored of special or near interest to most of us here:
Monsters, Maidens, and Mayhem: A Pictorial History of Hollywood Film Monsters. Chicago: Merit Books, 1965.
Master Movie Monsters. Chicago: Merit Books, 1965.
Strange Guests. New York: Ace Books, 1966, and NY: Anomalist Books 2006.
The Abominable Snowman. New York: Award Books, 1969. London: Tandem Books, 1969.
Weird Unsolved Mysteries. New York: Award Books, 1969.
The Underpeople. New York: Award Books, 1969.
Mysteries of Time and Space. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1974.
The Strange World of Brad Steiger (Collection of newspaper columns of the same name). New York: Kensington/Zebra, 1975.
Monsters Among Us. Rockport, MA: Para Research, 1982. New York: Berkley, 1989. Lakeville, MN: Galde Press, 2006. This is Brad’s most comprehensive cryptozoological book. His chapter on Momo is unique. His contributions added new details on the sightings of this now famous 1972 Missouri “Eastern Bigfoot” or “Marked Hominid.”
Mysteries of Animal Intelligence. New York: Tor Books, 1995. Reissued by Tor/Amazon, 2007.
The Werewolf Book: The Encyclopedia of Shape-Shifting Beings. Detroit: Visible Ink, 1999.
Out of the Dark: A Complete Guide to Beings from Beyond. New York: Kensington, 2001.
The Gale Encyclopedia of the Unusual and the Unexplained. Three Volumes. Farmington Hills, MI: The Gale Group, 2003.
Happy birthday to Brad!
February 20th is T. Peter Park‘s birthday, and happy birthday wishes to him too, for his special day. Park is a frequent critical thinker and author on a variety of subjects, especially recently regarding little people, Homo floresiensis, and the folklore links to these topics via emails, online forums, and articles in The Anomalist and Fate Magazine. Park is recognized as a Fortean authority on H.P. Lovecraft, according to the Horror Library’s Chris Perridas, as noted during the introduction to a February 2006 interview.