A Sooner Solicits the Nation

A Sooner Solicits the Nation

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This new biography - "A Sooner Solicits the Nation” - is a revised edition of the memoir, "The Red Cross Rainmaker," published in 2012. The new version includes important additional files of text and images, discovered by the editor after the earlier publication.
The book is edited by Howard Bryan Bonham (Jr) and describes his father's ambitious adventures, from growing up in remote Indian Territory, and leaving there as a young married adult to rise to the youngest ever Vice Chair of the American Red Cross. He served that organization from the desperate days of the Great Depression through the heroic victory in WW II and the beginning of America's peacetime recovery.
In his early career, future Vice Chair Bonham reported from the sites of major dust storms, tornadoes, earthquakes, floods, hurricanes and other disasters, as the public information officer of the American Red Cross. Later on, the organization promoted him to its headquarters in Washington,D.C., where he soon directed its mammoth public relations and fundraising programs, largely through collaboration with stars and celebrities of stage, screen, TV, radio, politics and print media. He also wrote speeches for three sitting U.S presidents - Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman and Dwight D. Eisenhower - and Roy J. Turner, governor of Oklahoma; and national philanthropic societies honored him.
The hardships and heartbreaks of the Great Depression and the nation's enormous sacrifices in World War II insert special insights into his dynamic story of service to disaster victims and the organization he loved. He was the voice of the American Red Cross, first responder during times when American presidents made formidable philanthropic demands on that organization.
In his compassionate odyssey, he witnessed a great deal of pain and tragedy. Even so, his immense wit and bonhomie enabled him to energize his spirits optimistically, in applying his creative media skills to help the victims. Perhaps his prodigious output with the pen resulted from the influence of author Washington Irving's ghost; for, over a century earlier, America's first popular writer abroad stayed in the Bonham family home in Fort Gibson, IT, before commencing his famous "Tour of the Prairies" in 1832.
Constantly in the spotlight, while he graphically painted disasters and consequential needs to the public, he imbibed upbeat vibes from the rich personality reservoir of celebrities he recruited to help the Red Cross causes. They are also part of the story, and include luminaries Bob Hope, Charles Laughton, Clark Gable, Frankie Laine, Helen Hayes, Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Mae West, Norman Rockwell, Will Rogers, Van Johnson, and others. Amusing stories of the fundraiser's interactions with them provide a welcome balance to the horrific disasters described firsthand. One amusing chapter describes how President Harry S. Truman insists, until the astounded Vice Chair Howard Bonham actually sits down at the president's desk, in the Oval Office ? “To see how lonely the president feels,” in the words of President S. Truman
The book is a compelling yet entertaining story of a life member of the Cherokee Nation, who climbed to the pinnacle of success in the American society that exiled his ancestors. His exceptional people and media skills contributed to record Red Cross fundraising campaigns during WW II, an achievement President Franklin D. Roosevelt called the greatest campaign for mercy in the history of the world.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940150120877
Publisher: HoeBoe Press
Publication date: 01/16/2015
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 827 KB

About the Author

I have enjoyed serious reading and writing most of my life. Beginning in high school, I studied journalism, which I continued in college, while serving as sports columnist of the college newspaper and sports editor of the alumni news magazine.

I also wrote general news stringers for daily newspapers, in the news-rich Washington, D.C. environs. My education was augmented by what seem like endless but valuable sessions with my father, a journalist and publisher who wrote press releases, speeches, scripts, and articles. He wrote speeches for three U.S. sitting presidents, including FDR's final nationwide address.

After editing a daily newspaper and the investment newsletter that became the weekly Standard & Poor's Outlook, I got jobs researching and writing investment reports for Wall Street firms.

In the 1990s, I operated Howard Bonham Research, an independent research firm in Houston, Texas. That opportunity arose because scandals of corrupt research on Wall Street had created a demand for independent opinions.

I live in Maryland, a few miles from the Chesapeake Bay. The eastern shore is one of my favorite places and I go there as often as possible.

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