Ann Kirschner

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Ann Kirschner is an American academic, entrepreneur, and author of Sala's Gift: My Mother's Holocaust Story and Lady at the OK Corral: The True Story of Josephine Marcus Earp. A veteran of five start-ups, she launched NFL.COM for the National Football League and was the co-founder and CEO of Columbia University's interactive knowledge network, She is the Dean of William E. Macaulay Honors College of The City University of New York.

Early career[edit]

Kirschner has had an eclectic career as an academic and writer, and as a media and marketing pioneer in broadcast television, cable, satellite, and interactive media. A Whiting Fellow in the Humanities, she received her PhD in English literature from Princeton University, following her MA from the University of Virginia and BA from the State University of New York at Buffalo. She began her career as a lecturer in Victorian literature at Princeton, and has also been a freelance writer at CBS, the New York Times, and the Chronicle of Higher Education. She was the assistant director for English programs at the Modern Language Association, and worked as an assistant to Lola Szladits, the director of the Berg Collection of the New York Public Library. She received grants from the Texas Committee for the Humanities for a study on PhDs in business and from the Littauer Foundation for research on slave labor camps.


Her start-ups include Request Teletext, the first full-channel cable teletext service;[1] PrimeTime 24, one of the first home satellite broadcast networks; NFL Sunday Ticket and, the first sports league on satellite television and the Internet; and, the first interactive knowledge network associated with leading universities, libraries, museums, and research institutions. Fathom's consortium was led by Columbia University and member institutions included London School of Economics, New York Public Library, British Library, British Museum, Victoria and Albert, Cambridge University Press, Science Museum, University of Chicago, University of Michigan, Wood's Hole Oceanographic Institute, American Film Institute, She previously headed up new media for the National Football League (NFL), overseeing the introduction of new programming ventures in emerging technologies such as interactive television and the Internet, and is the founder of, and Team NFL on America Online.

She served as president of Comma Communications, a telecommunications and interactive consulting firm. She also co-founded Satellite Broadcast Networks and PrimeTime 24, where she became the first executive vice president of sales and marketing of both companies. Earlier, she was the director of new business development for TelePrompTer/Group W Cable, where she won an ACE award in marketing.[citation needed]

Kirschner has served as a scholar-in-residence at Rollins College and James Madison University. She is a current or former board member of Apollo Group, Topps,, Public Agenda, Jewish Women's Archive, MOUSE, Open University of Israel, the Paul and Daisy Soros Foundation, New York Media Association, Theatreworks USA, Footsteps, the Princeton University English Department Advisory Council, and Leadership Council of the Princeton University Graduate School.

Service And Awards[edit]

In 2014 Kirschner received an "Above and Beyond" award from City and State Magazine, recognizing "leaders in their respective fields, be it business, public service, media, the nonprofit sector or labor."[2] Kirschner received a 1999 New York Award from New York Magazine.[3] She received a Whiting Fellowship in 1977 while at Princeton University[4] and has been honored as a distinguished graduate of SUNY Buffalo.[citation needed]



Kirschner is the author of Sala's Gift: My Mother's Holocaust Story, the story of her mother's wartime rescue of hundreds of letters written to her during five years in Nazi slave Labor camps. The letters include the correspondence between her mother and Ala Gertner during the Holocaust. The book has also been published in German as Salas Geheiminis, Polish, as Listy z Pudełka, Italian, as Il Dono di Sala, French, as Le Secret de ma mère, in Czech as Salin Dar, and Chinese (Mandarin). The book was later adapted into a play by Arlene Hutton titled Letters to Sala.[5]

Her second book, "Lady at the OK Corral: the True Story of Josephine Marcus Earp" was published by HarperCollins in March, 2013. It is the biography of Josephine Marcus Earp, who was Wyatt Earp's common law wife for nearly 50 years. According to the book, Marcus sparked the world's most famous gunfight, buried her husband in a Jewish cemetery after he died in her bed in 1929, and subsequently shaped the legend of Wyatt Earp and the Wild West. In 2013, the book was named Editor's Choice by New York Times in the Sunday Book Review[6] and Kirschner was honored as best new Western author by True West Magazine.[7]

Other publications[edit]


  1. ^ "Communiques". InfoWorld. 1984-10-01. Retrieved 2011-02-16. 
  2. ^ "Above and Beyond: Honoring Women of Public and Civic Mind". City & State. City & State. Retrieved 16 June 2014. 
  3. ^ Steele, Michael. "The 1999 New York Awards: Ann Kirschner, Computer Literate". New York Magazine. Retrieved 16 June 2014. 
  4. ^ "Whiting Foundation Dissertation Fellowships". Mrs. Giles Whiting Foundation. Retrieved 17 July 2014. 
  5. ^ Letters to Sala. Dramatists Play Service, Inc.
  6. ^ The New York Times (June 7, 2013). "Editors’ Choice". Retrieved 1 July 2014. 
  7. ^ Rosebrook, J. Stuart. "The Best of Western Books for 2014". True West. True West Magazine. Retrieved 1 July 2014. 

External links[edit]