Eric Ehrmann

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Eric Wayne Ehrmann is an author and columnist who has covered sports, politics and proliferation issues in Latin America for 30 years. His columns arguing that Argentina and Brazil participate in the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty and honor the Treaty of Tlatelolco (for a nuclear weapons-free Latin America) helped start a groundswell of international opinion that saw both emerging democracies reconcile their strategic defense doctrines with international norms.

From 1968 to 1971 Ehrmann was one of the early feature writers for Rolling Stone, working under co-founder Jann S. Wenner. Later, his 1992 essay describing how the cultural freedom promoted by Rolling Stone helped facilitate regime change in Cold War Eastern Europe was featured in the magazine's 25th anniversary issue and the book "The Best of Rolling Stone, 25 Years of Journalism on the Edge."

His blog columns on global affairs, sports and politics appear on multiple platforms of HuffPost. His print media work has been featured by USA Today, The Christian Science Monitor, The Chicago Tribune, National Review, The New York Times, The Buenos Aires Herald, The Journal of Commerce and The Toronto Star and Algemeiner,a publication discussing Jewish affairs.

For several years Ehrmann has authored the non-partisan "Institutions and Competition" blog on the Russian International Affairs Council website, which is an adjunct of the Russian academy of sciences and published in English and Russian.

Until recently he did predictive analysis with a IARPA (Intelligence Advanced Research Projects) activity that was privatized. From 1995 until May, 2017, Ehrmann was a professional member of PEN USA, an affiliate of London-based International PEN, advocating extending to bloggers the human rights protections PEN historically has advocated for writers

Early life[edit]

Eric Ehrmann was born 13 August. 1946 in Cleveland, Ohio and is an only child from a modest Jewish background. He worked in the Republic Steel bar mill in Cleveland to earn money for his early college education and was a member of the United Steelworkers of America (AFL-CIO). His father was also a member of the CIO and the AFL-CIO, became a journeyman plumber and was an elected official of Plumbers Local 55 AFL-CIO in Cleveland at the time of his death at age 49 in 1967. Shipping records indicate that Eric's antecedents were Jewish immigrants who emigrated to the United States from the Austrian, German and Russian empires.

Eric was confirmed in the Reform Jewish Movement in 1962 by Rabbi Arthur Lelyveld of Fairmount Temple-Congregation Anshe Hesed. He was graduated class of 1964 from Shaker High School in Shaker Heights, Ohio.

Rolling Stone[edit]

According to the website of Rolling Stone co-founder Jann S. Wenner, Eric Ehrmann began writing for the magazine from his fraternity house while a columnist for The Miami Student, at Miami University of Ohio, which he attended before becoming a "college drop out". Later, in northern California, he contributed occasionally to the Berkeley Barb in 1969 and 1970 using his own name, and pseudonyms.

He pledged Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity, (Kappa chapter) at Miami, and was initiated into the Delta Kappa Epsilon ("Deke") as pin number Kappa 1113. He developed a friendship with author P.J. O'Rourke, who pledged Deke but never completed the program, a friendship that continued in later years.

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 became a "gold record". Three members of the group were Deke fraternity brothers. The record company and its music publishing arm, Kama Sutra Music, were owned by Morris Levy, who also owned Buddah. Levy was linked to organized crime and was convicted of federal racketeering charges in 1990. Levy used the young music business executive Neil Bogart as his front man.

Ehrmann's November, 1969 coverage of the funeral of beat generation icon Jack Kerouac was published in the successful Rolling Stone Book of The Beats, published by Hyperion and edited by Holly George-Warren. He split with Wenner and Rolling Stone over classic writer-publisher money disagreements. With the nascent Rolling Stone paying just $50 for a cover story the offer of making more money working in the U.S. intelligence community outside the United States piqued his interest.

Freelancing 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 a friend and mentor, George Bailey, who was 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 one of America's most popular "kitch" ceramic collectables and through clever marketing, it became a best-seller.

During the early 1970s, Ehrmann worked at a facility in Heidelberg (West Germany) 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 gang- in Europe.

Returning to the US in 1980 Ehrmann worked as a corporate writer for consulting firm Peat Marwick at 345 Park Avenue in Manhattan, now KPMG. He did ghostwriting for prominent world figures including productivity expert W. Edwards Deming, Manfred Rommel, and nuclear weapons strategist Herman Kahn among others. In 1981, at the invitation of Ed Daly, owner of World Airways and a client of Peat Marwick, Ehrmann travelled with Daly to Mogadishu, Somalia to assist in preparation of a study regarding refugee food supply and health problems and the conflict in the region disputed by Somalia and Ethiopia known as the Ogaden. He travelled to the Ogaden region and visited refugee camps and discussed health, food and logistical issues with Lino Bordin, an Italian diplomat who was a special representative of the United Nations High Commission on Refugees assigned to the region.

He later worked in public relations, at Edelman, developing and supervising programs for the governments of France, the German Democratic Republic, Israel and Mexico and was registered as a foreign agent with US organizations as per legal requirements. He continued to receive advice and mentoring from his friend 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 of offices at 1775 Broadway at 57th St. on the second floor and Ehrmann's office with Edelman was on the 22nd.

South America and the Buenos Aires Herald[edit]

During the late 1980s he lived in Buenos Aires [1] when Argentina was transitioning from dictatorship to democracy and wrote opinion columns for The Buenos Aires Herald. He worked with editors Dan Newland, Mike Soltys and Ronald Hansen.

Ehrmann was hired as a project consultant by pioneering political simulation game developer Jim Gasperini and developed scenarios and political content for the popular political 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 on proliferation issues, sometimes collaborating with Christopher Barton at the Center for National Security Law at the University of Virginia. 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, and issues connected with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR).

The University of New Mexico, battling colon cancer[edit]

In 1995 he was named writer in residence at the University of New Mexico Department of Communication and Journalism. He also did radio political commentary for KUNM, the National Public Radio affiliate at the University of New Mexico.

Later in 1995 routine blood tests led to being diagnosed with colon cancer which was staged as Dukes C-3. After a 7cm stretch of colon was removed and one year of weekly chemo doctors gave him a 23% chance of surviving 5 years. He beat the odds and wrote a book "Come 2 Mama" about that journey. In 2000 he participated in the nationwide Presidential Cancer Panel. He is a 22 year colon cancer survivor and sometimes writes about colon cancer and the importance of screening, colonoscopy and early detection.

Social Media, Brazil and HuffPost[edit]

In 2008 as the social media phenomenon took hold he accepted a consulting position with one of the early social media marketing websites "Social Media Today" co-founded by the late Robin Fray Carey. Able to cybercommute, he opted for a change of scene, Already familiar with Brazil from his days in Argentina, he relocated there.

In 2009 he balanced his social media activities with blog columns on what was then called The Huffington Post. He was one of original bloggers on the HuffPost World section as it was being developed by editor Hanna Ingber Win. Eric is a lifelong fan of the Cleveland Browns and sometimes blogs about them on HuffPost. He resides in Goiania, a city just outside the Federal Capital, Brasilia. He holds permanent residence status in Brazil and holds a U.S. passport. Ehrmann is credentialed as a blogger by Itamaraty, the Ministry of External Relations of Brazil and by SECOM, the social communications department of the office of the president of the republic.

He is on hiatus from political columns and is focused on a creative nonfiction project.


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