Eric Ehrmann

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Eric Wayne Ehrmann (born in Cleveland, Ohio August 13, 1946) is an author, blogger, and columnist who resides in Brazil. His independent columns on sports, politics and cancer issues are published on the Brasil Post-Editora Abril, AOL Huffington Post, HuffPo United Kingdom, HuffPo-LeMonde in France, El Huffington Post in Spain and on Al Huffington Post Maghreb (North Africa). He also does predictive analysis and forecasting with IARPA, the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects group in the United States. In addition, Ehrmann authors "Institutions and Competition" blog at the Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC), an ajunct organization to the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow. He is a 19 year stage 3 colon cancer survivor.

Ehrmann holds a U.S. passport and the Brazil permanent residence document (RNE) and travels on both. He is credentialed by Itmaraty, the Ministry of External Relations of Brazil. He is also a member of the Portal os Jornalistas of Brazil, Brazil's largest online organization of journalists, commentators, bloggers and writers.

Eric Ehrmann is one of the young feature writers who helped pioneer Rolling Stone[1] magazine in 1968, working under co-founder Jann S Wenner. He is a voting member of PEN USA, an affiliate of International PEN, the London-headquartered international literary and human rights organization.

His work supports the growth of the open internet and online media as vehicles to help bridge the growing digital divide and promote social inclusion in all nations and cultures and among non-state actors.

Early life[edit]

Eric Ehrmann is an only child, a third generation American from a family of assimilated Jews. As a college student he worked summers in the bar mill at Republic Steel Corporation to earn money to help pay his college expenses and was a member of the United Steelworkers of America (AFL-CIO) during that period. His father was member of the CIO and the AFL-CIO and was a labor union official in Cleveland, Ohio until his death in 1967. His paternal grandfather Ed was a printer's devil and a journeyman union printer who worked with the Cleveland News and later an early RotoGravure pressman with the Cuneo Press in Chicago, Illinois. Immigration and shipping records indicate that his antecedents from the Austrian, German and Russian empires arrived in the United States during the late 19th century. Eric was confirmed in the Reform Jewish Movement by Rabbi Arthur Lelyveld of Fairmount Temple-Congregation Anshe Hesed. He was graduated class of 1964 from Shaker High School in Shaker Heights, Ohio. He received additional teaching about the history and politics of the Reform Jewish Movement from Rabbi Albert A. Goldman of the Isaac Mayer Wise Temple-K.K.B'nai Yeshurun in Cincinnati, Ohio, who was a friend of his father, Robert. Eric attended Miami University (Ohio) but dropped out following the death of his father and later studied French civilization and culture in France at the la Universite Paris IV-Sorbonne, where he received a certificate.

Rolling Stone[edit]

According to the website of Rolling Stone co-founder Jann S. Wenner, Eric Ehrmann began writing for Rolling Stone from his fraternity house while still a columnist for The Miami Student, the student newspaper at Miami University of Ohio. His first Rolling Stone byline was out of London's famous Marquee Club in October, 1968, where he did a feature on the blues revival group Savoy Brown. He was also in Paris in the wake of the May 1968 events in France, but did not cover the political situation for Wenner's publication. As one of the early contributors to Rolling Stone he looked at the connections between rock music and politics. He also contributed occasionally to the Berkeley Barb in 1969 and 1970 using his own name, and pseudonyms, not uncommon among those who wrote for the underground press at that time.

While a student at Miami University he pledged the Kappa chapter of Delta Kappa Epsilon and was initiated into the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity as pin number Kappa 1113. As a Miami Deke, he developed a friendship with author P.J. O'Rourke, who signed the Deke pledgebook at Kappa but never completed the program, a friendship that continues today in spite of political and philosophical differences.[2][1]. During this period Eric Ehrmann wrote the song "Ask Me If I Care" which was recorded by the rock band The Lemon Pipers on their LP by the same name released by Buddah Records that went gold on the Billboard charts. Three of the band member were his Deke fraternity brothers. "Ask Me If I Care" was a cut on the Pipers million selling Buddah Records LP. But even though Ehrmann held the copyright to the workt he received no royalties on it or its world wide syndcations and catalogue sales. The writer contract that was prepared for him was offered by Kama Sutra Music, owned by Morris Levy, who had a reputation for ripping off talent and also owned Buddah. Levy was a notorious music business tough guy and involved with organized crime and was convicted of federal racketeering charges in 1991. After an appeal, the charges were upheld by a full panel U.S. Federal Appeals Court. Levy used the youthful music business executive Neil Bogart as his front man.

Eric Ehrmann's controversial January 1969 Rolling Stone cover story on the Detroit/Ann Arbor political rock band MC-5 was selected by editors as one of the "great stories" in the history of the publication and subsequently featured in the magazine's [2] 25th anniversary edition, and anthologized in a Rolling Stone/Doubleday book. And his November, 1969 coverage of the funeral of beat generation icon Jack Kerouac was anthologized in the successful Rolling Stone Book of The Beats, published by Hyperion and edited by Holly George-Warren. [3] He participated in Wenner-led editorial meetings with the likes of the departed Hunter S. Thompson, photographer Annie Leibovitz, and other icons of the period but in a detached professional context rather than in a social sense. He split with Wenner and Rolling Stone over classic writer-publisher money issues and editorial policy questions. With Wenner paying writers just $50 for a cover story the offer of making more money working in the intelligence community was one he did not refuse.

Free Lancing in Europe[edit]

During the 1970s he lived in Europe, in Heidelberg, and in Paris, attending the Sorbonne during the Cold War era and, subsequently wrote about politics, and cultural freedom. At the suggestion of George Bailey, a senior executive at publisher, Springer-Ullstein and a biographer of Soviet Nobel Laureate Andrei Sakharov, Ehrmann researched the popular collector movement associated with Hummel figurines and in 1976 wrote a book on what was then a novelty popular art subculture.

The book created some controversy when first published because it detailed how the Nazi regime of Adolf Hitler used certain figurines, decorated in the popular folk costumes worn by Croatian, Serbian and Czech people to promote friendship and unity between them and the Nazi occupation armies. Leading collectors of the figurines in the United States, many of whom were of European origin, were uncomfortable with this factual information the author obtained from the files of the company that produced the figurines. During a 50 city book promotion tour in 1976 a group of collectors protested at a book signing event at a theme park in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, handing out pamphlets and demanding Ehrmann make changes to the quarto size art book featuring detailed images of the ceramic collectibles. While some changes were made that added to the market value of certain figurines owned by leading collectors, the publisher of the book at that time, Portfolio Press, did not remove content or photographs of the figurines in folk costumes used by the Nazis to build cultural ties in the nations occupied by their armies. Because of known legal risks associate with the book his writer contract represented at the time one of the few instances where the publisher holds harmless and indemnifies the writer, when in most situations it works the other way round. The contract was prepared for him by noted publishing lawyer Nancy F. Wechsler.

Now, during this period Ehrmann worked at a facility in Heidelberg known as Building 28, which served as a secret center for the computerization and analysis of human intelligence data. He held top secret and special intelligence security clearances (prior to the single scope investigation process). Building 28 was the first US facility to be blown up by terrorists- the Baader-Meinhof group- in Europe. Eric Ehrmann also played rugby (prop)on the squad of the RG Heidelberg and traveled to France to play matches.

Returning to the US in 1980 Eric Ehrmann worked as a corporate writer for the executive office of consulting firm Peat Marwick at 345 Park Avenue in Manhattan, now KPMG. He did ghostwriting assignments for prominent world figures including productivity expert W. Edwards Deming, French publisher Jean-Jacques Servan-Schreiber, Manfred Rommel, and nuclear weapons strategist Herman Kahn among others. Eric Ehrmann during the period 1980-1983 was an associate member of the Foreign Policy Association. In 1981, at the invitation of Ed Daly, owner of World Airways and a client of his employer Peat Marwick, Ehrmann travelled to Mogadishu, Somalia to assist in preparation of a study regarding the refugee food and health issues and the conflict in the region disputed by Somalia and Ethiopia known as the Ogaden. He travelled to the Ogaden region of Ethiopia to visit refugee camps and discussed health, regugee hunger and logistical issues with Lino Bordin, an Italian diplomat who was a special representative of the United Nations High Commission on Refugees at that time.

He later worked in public relations, at the Edelman firm, developing and supervising programs for DATAR a French government trade promotion agency,the Ministry of Foreign Trade of the German Democratic Republic (East Germany), an Israeli high-tech organization called Scitex, American Express, and the government of Mexico and was registered as such with official US organizations as per legal requirements. Public relations efforts by Edelman during this period promoted international trade at the German Democratic Republic's annual Leipzig Trade Fair. During the ambassadorial tenures of diplomats Rozanne L. Ridgway in Berlin and Dr. Gerhard Herder in Washington increased commerce was viewed as a component of overall détente. But while the GDR's gross domestic product rivaled that of Great Britain at the time an attempt by the regime of Erich Honecker to develop a very costly microchip industry in a highly competitive market depleted hard currency reserves and the trade expansion Ehrmann helped publicize foundered. He continued to receive advice and mentoring from George Bailey, who had become director of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. It was convenient for the two to meet when Bailey was in New York since RFE-RL had a suite offices at 1775 Broadway at 57th St. on the second floor and Ehrmann's office with the Edelman firm was a short elevator ride down from the 22nd floor.

South America and the Buenos Aires Herald[edit]

Ehrmann lived during the mid-1980s in Buenos Aires[3] when Argentina was transitioning from dictatorship to democracy and wrote columns for The Buenos Aires Herald, working with editors Dan Newland, Ronald Hansen and Michael Soltys. Eric Ehrmann wrote political commentary on South American affairs for US publications including National Review, The Christian Science Monitor, USA Today, The Journal of Commerce, The Journal of Defense and Diplomacy, among others. He has been writing opinion and commentary on Latin American affairs for 27 years.

He also wrote travel features for Clipper, the award winning in-flight magazine of Pan American World Airways.

Eric Ehrmann was hired as a project consultant by developer Jim Gasperini and worked on developing scenarios and content for the popular government simulation video game, Hidden Agenda, which went on market in 1988. The game helped establish the foundation for the games for change movement and was also purchased by agencies of the U.S. government for use in training.

The University of Virginia at Charlottesville[edit]

Returning to the US in 1990 he continued writing and publishing, collaborating with Christopher Barton at the Center for National Security Law at the University of Virginia. He developed editorial content for Time magazine that appeared in sponsored news sections paid for by an agency of the government of Mexico. Ehrmann's commentary in the Spring 1992 issue of Orbis, published by the Foreign Policy Research Institute, represents one of few the attempts to call into question the low threat potential of Saddam Hussein's nuclear program after it rebounded and expanded in the wake of the Israeli attack on the Osirak reactor known as Operation Opera. He also investigated and published articles in The Journal of Commerce and The Christian Science Monitor discussing cooperation between Iraq and South American companies in connection with the Iraqi medium range guided missile program known as "Tammuz" in Iraq, and "Condor" in the West.

The University of New Mexico, Colon Cancer and the Web[edit]

In 1995 he was named writer in residence at the University of New Mexico Department of Communication and Journalism by Associate Provost David E. Stuart. Eric Ehrmann also did radio political commentary for KUNM, the National Public Radio affiliate at the University of New Mexico.

In July 1995 he was diagnosed with colon cancer. He took a long hiatus from writing and served as a volunteer citizenship mentor and trainee in a program conducted at that time by Catholic Social Services of Albuquerque, New Mexico. In 2000 he participated in the nationwide Presidential Cancer Panel, which at the time operated under the aegis of the sitting president George H.W. Bush.

After being diagnosed with depression and chronic anxiety disorder in 1992 his psychiatrist prescribed the SSRI anti-depression medication Zoloft, which, while helping to mediate his feelings dealing with his cancer diagnosis, modified his personality in ways that are described in product literature and other publicly available information. He titrated himself off of the medication in late 2007. He opted for a change of scene and relocated in 2008 to Brazil, immersing himself in another language and culture.

In 2009, Ehrmann returned to writing and blogging, doing columns about Brazil and Latin America on The Huffington Post in English. He was one of the original bloggers on the original Huffington Post World section as it was being developed by editor Hanna Ingber Win.

Eric Ehrmann's columns and blog posts are mirrored by a range of online media to include The Dallas Morning News, Forbes, The Times of India Silobreaker and USAToday, among others. He is divorced from Valeria Fernandes, a physical education professor and beach volleyball referee who attended the Methodist University of Piracicaba UNIMEP. Eric is a lifelong fan of the Cleveland Browns. He currently resides in Goiania, a city of 1.5 million that is a 2 1/2 drive into Brasilia.