Carl Addison Swanson
Carl Addison Swanson was born in the midst of the worst snowstorm of 1948. His father recounted “his Uncle had to sit on the hood of our old Buick with a flashlight to see our way to the hospital.” His mother scarred him for life by declaring him to be “a homely baby and very stubborn.” Carl spent his youth in the affluent Westport, Connecticut, a bedroom community in the suburbs of New York City. Throughout much of his youth, he felt he resembled Alfred E. Newman, complete with bulging ears, freckles, a gap between his two front teeth, and a diminutive stature. At first, this likeness endeared him to the opposite sex, however, much to his dismay, he found these attractions quickly evaporated. Despite his size, Carl was a very good athlete. He played baseball, soccer and golf in high school and received a partial scholarship to college.
During his freshman year in a New Jersey college, Carl’s major interests were the opposite sex and alcohol. Sophomore year, during a drunken midnight ride through the campus quadrangle, he nearly maimed an Assistant Dean. This experience precipitated his enlistment into the Navy where he trained in intelligence communications. His first tour of duty was Vietnam. After becoming a survivor of his generation's war, he was sent to Key West, Florida, where he flew twelve hour long reconnaissance missions for the National Security Agency. He received a Presidential Unit Citation for his squadron’s work at keeping the Communists at bay.
Following 3 years, 9 months, 22 days and 4 hours in the service, Swanson returned to college where he actually actively attended classes and graduated cum laude. Shortly thereafter, he met his first wife. They were married during an ice storm in New Canaan, Connecticut. Swanson later joked, "the frigidity continued for the next 36 years,” during which the couple birthed and nurtured two wonderful children, Jason and Jennifer.
Early in their marriage after a short stint of selling pensions in Rhode Island, both Swanson and his wife moved to Texas to attend law school. Carl found his way to the legal departments of two oil field service companies in Houston while his wife became a prominent bankruptcy attorney. When the oil boom burst, Swanson went to work for the FDIC and closed numerous commercial banks. He received a second Presidential Citation for his work with the “Southwest Plan” involving the savings and loan industry.
In 1994, Swanson left the law and entered a writing program at Rice University in Houston. He soon finished his first novel, The Foursome, which combined his wit and love for the game of golf. During this period, he moonlighted as a newspaper reporter covering high school sports, a PGA teaching pro, a 7th grade history teacher and a fitness club manager.
Carl Addison Swanson has written twelve books, including the most recent, Fat People Are Harder to Kidnap, Sorry Don’t Pay the Bulldog and Pig in the Poke, featuring the lovable boat bum, Hush McCormick, helper to those needing to escape from various wild predicaments encountered in life.
Carl currently lives in his hometown of Westport with his fiancée, Jo Ann Miller, the author of Marathon of Change: The Radical Transformation of a Baby Boomer. He is currently working on his latest book, a personal memoir entitled, The Alfred E. Newman Chronicles, between rounds of golf and constantly training for marathons.