Publication of Paul E. Fitzgerald’s Will Eisner and PS Magazine in 2009 is regarded by many who know him as a fitting capstone in a multi-faceted life. It is an illustrated history and commentary influenced by his role in the challenging early years of the U.S. Army publication that became an internationally acclaimed pioneer in the use of sequential art in communicating motivational and technical information. It also is a reflection of his lasting friendship with Will Eisner—the comics artist who became known as the father of the graphic novel.


Fitzgerald today is a pony-tailed octogenarian free-lance writer, still pounding a keyboard in an Eighteenth Century stone-and-log cabin in the Appalachian Mountains of Virginia, between the Blue Ridge and the Allegheny Front. When he became PS Magazine’s first managing editor (1953-1963) he had been a printer, soldier, fireman, coal miner, reporter, and newspaper managing editor.


It was the printer part that provided a common ground for the West Virginia ridge-runner and Eisner, the street-smart New York artist, to build an alliance of mutual professional respect and friendship. It continued more than 50 years until Eisner’s death in 2005. They both had been printer’s devils (beginners), they knew the details of the graphic arts production processes and the physical realities involved, they understood deadlines, and they understood costs. The magazine’s production problems in those early years sprang from neglected details, and the two together knew how to address them.


During World War II, Fitzgerald enlisted at the age of 17 in the U.S. Army Specialized Training Program, and in 1945, at the age of 18, was commissioned as an Army second lieutenant assigned to the 9207th Technical Service Unit where he served until July of 1946.


In the world of journalism, he rose from the pressroom to a reporter’s beat to an editor’s seat. When he left PS, he became owner-publisher of a community newspaper group in southwestern Virginia and was recognized for innovative graphic designs, investigative reporting, imaginative writing, and aggressive journalism.


Following the sale of the newspapers, he was recruited in 1986 at the age of 60 by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, and retired in 1994 as its chief of communication services.


Concurrent with his service with the DEA and continuing until 2000, this honorary Kentucky Colonel moonlighted as public relations director for the national cathedral of a main-line protestant denomination, the historic landmark National City Christian Church on Thomas Circle in Washington, D.C. In 1988, his work for the church won the Public Relations Society of America’s coveted Silver Anvil Award for Institutional Programs. He served two elected terms as president of the Religious Public Relations Council of Washington, D.C.


In the new millennium, Fitz’s articles have appeared in Army Times and The Washington Post, and he wrote an intermittent column for The Fincastle Herald, the flagship of the newspaper group he previously owned, until 2013.


Fitzgerald received a standing ovation as a featured speaker at the Sixtieth Anniversary  Celebration of PS Magazine at Redstone Arsenal, Huntsville, Alabama, in 2011.


The Eisner cartoon shown at left reflects a mid-winter Alaskan trip Fitzgerald made for PS. in the early 1960s.




 

Up the creek and over the ridge . . .

 

U.S. Army’s PS Magazine

Managing Editor 1953 - 1963

U.S. Food and Drug Administration Center for Veterinary Medicine

1986

U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration

Chief of Communication Services

1986 - 1994

National City Christian Church

Director of Public Relations

1985 - 2000

Silver Anvil Award

for

Excellence in Institutional Programs

Public Relations Society of America

1988

Master Sergeant Half-Mast and

Paul E.Fitzgerald

Click onYear Desired

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2013F%26M_2013/F%26M_2013.html

For book details, click on Front Cover, above.

Click photo above to see video clip of presentation and standing ovation at PS Magazine Sixtieth Anniversary Celebration.

UNDER

CONSTRUCTION

To view slideshow featuring scenic Roaring Run, click image, above.