Dear Reader: The Childhood of Famous Americans series, seventy years old in 2002, chronicles the early years of famous American men and women in an accessible manner. Each book is faithful in spirit to the values and experiences that influenced the person¹s development. History is fleshed out with fictionalized details, and conversations have been added to make the stories come alive to today¹s reader, but every reasonable effort has been made to make the stories consistent with the events, ethics, and character of their subjects. These books reaffirm the importance of our American heritage. We hope you learn to love the heroes and heroines who helped shape this great country. And by doing so, we hope you also develop a lasting love for the nation that gave them the opportunity to make their dreams come true. It will do the same for you. Happy Reading! The Editors
Jan Adkins was raised in West Virginia and Ohio, around Wheeling. He attended Ohio State University for more than eight years, flunking out several times. At first he studied architecture. In this second phase of his long university career he studied literature and creative writing. He has served as an art director for National Geographic Magazine, has written for Smithsonian magazine, Cricket and Muse magazines, Harper’s, Chesapeake Bay Magazine, Sail, WoodenBoat, Maine Boats Homes & Harbors, and others. He also works on museum exhibits.
Meryl Henderson is a graduate of Syracuse University. In 1974, she graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor of fine arts degree. For over forty years, she has been working as a freelance illustrator, specializing in artwork for children. She has illustrated more than a hundred books and has contributed illustrations to countless magazines and educational books. She currently lives in Catskill, New York.