|Born||James Alonzo Bishop
November 21, 1907
Jersey City, New Jersey
|Died||July 26, 1987
Delray Beach, Florida
Born in Jersey City, New Jersey, he dropped out of school after eighth grade. In 1923, he studied typing, shorthand and bookkeeping, and in 1929 began work as a copy boy at the New York Daily News. In 1930, he got a job as a cub reporter at New York Daily Mirror, where he worked until 1943, when he joined Collier's Magazine. He remained until 1945.
His plans to write for his friend and mentor, Hollywood producer Mark Hellinger, ended with Hellinger's death in 1947. Bishop wrote a biography of Hellinger in 1952. From 1946 to 1948, he was executive editor of Liberty magazine, then became director of the literary department at the Music Corporation of America until 1951. He was then founding editor of Gold Medal Books (the juvenile division of Fawcett Publications) until 1953. In the 1950s, Bishop would do his writing at the Jersey Shore in Sea Bright, New Jersey, going back to his home in Teaneck, New Jersey on weekends to see his wife and children. In 1957, he started his column, "Jim Bishop: Reporter" with King Features Syndicate, which continued until 1983. It also landed him on the master list of Nixon political opponents.
The remainder of his career was spent writing biographical books about notable figures, and Christian-themed books. His book The Day Lincoln Was Shot was published in 1955, and became an instant best-seller. Bishop also wrote The Day Christ Died, The Day Christ Was Born, and The Day Kennedy Was Shot. Perhaps his most critically acclaimed book was FDR's Last Year: April 1944-April 1945, which brought to public awareness the secrecy that surrounded President Franklin D. Roosevelt's declining health during World War II.
The Day Lincoln Was Shot was dramatized on TV twice, first as a 1956 live special starring Raymond Massey as Abraham Lincoln and shown on the Ford Star Jubilee anthology series, and again as a 1998 made-for-television film starring Lance Henriksen as Lincoln. The Day Christ Died was made into a television film in 1980, starring Chris Sarandon as Jesus Christ, and Keith Michell as Pontius Pilate.
- Jim Bishop at the Internet Movie Database
- Jim Bishop Chronology by Michael Spencer
- Jim Bishop Collection at St. Bonaventure University
- Jim Bishop at Find a Grave