Augustinus in 2013 (photo by JStormzand)
|Born||Norman Theodore Augustinus, Jr.
Detroit, Michigan, United States
Humorous Fat Cat Adoption Story
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Norman Theodore Augustinus, Jr is an American writer.
Augustinus was born in the Hutzel Women's Hospital in Detroit, Michigan. He is the son of Levontina Melnyk (Melnychuk) and Norman Augustinus, Sr. His grandfather Bart Theodoor Augustinus was born in Amsterdam, but left the Netherlands in 1922 entering the US by way of the Vermont, St. Albans Canadian Crossing. Augustinus never met his biological father, but at the age of ten his mother remarried. Augustinus credits his stepfather for much of his success. Augustinus's mother gave birth to twins but the other child was stillborn. Augustinus's mother was Jewish. His grandmother Bessie was a Ukraine Jew.
Known widely for his eccentric offbeat brand of humor, Augustinus studied Journalism and Communications at Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Michigan where he was an editor of the university newspaper the (Ferris Torch) and writer/producer of the then popular radio show, The Adventures of E-Man. While a freshman at Ferris State University Augustinus published LEONARD. During his senior year at Ferris State University Augustinus placed in an invention contest and won a cash award for a mailbox transmitter device. A certificate and cash prize was presented to Augustinus during the dedication and open house of the Manufacturing Resource and Productivity Center.
An inventor, his gadgets have been featured in publications and television shows (USA Today, Detroit Free Press Detroit Free Press Detroit News Cadillac Evening News Detroit Free Press Weekly World News Detroit Free Press Magazine Royal Oak Tribune The Pioneer The Oakland Press and countless others) across the United States. He has been a copywriter, run for political office hunted for treasure, appeared in over three dozen television commercials, and worked toward a private pilot license. In 1991 Augustinus developed the story-line and dialogue for place mats used in over 300 McDonald's restaurants throughout Michigan, The Adventures of Tizzie Bean. Additionally, Augustinus landed a bit part (under five lines) in the movie Hoffa starring Jack Nicholson (Shot in Cobo Hall Arena, Detroit). Augustinus is listed in the 2003 & 2004 Edition of Marquis Who's Who in America and was nominated for the Ferris State University Distinguished Alumni Award two consecutive years in a row. In 1999 he was accepted into the prestigious Powerhouse Theatre Program at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York. He has written for newspapers and online publications such as McSweeney's Internet Tendency and he is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists, Screen Actor's Guild/American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG - AFTRA) and Actors' Equity (AEA). In August 2004 Augustinus was chosen by the New York City Host Committee as an "All-America" volunteer, one of only a few hundred individuals hand selected from across the country to support the 2004 Republican National Convention.
In 2014 and 2015 Augustinus stood in Columbus Circle Manhattan for hundreds of hours holding large, creatively worded banners in support of the New York City horse carriage industry, which de Blasio vowed to end immediately upon being elected NYC mayor. Augustinus was thanked by the Teamsters for his support in a full page notice/ad published in the New York Daily News on January 1, 2016.
Augustinus is one of the earliest podcasters. In 1992 he broadcast his offbeat stories and poems (via the internet) using large uncompressed wav (wave) files. In 1995 Augustinus began using RealAudio due largely to the dramatic increase in speed, eventually shifting his focus to the mp3 format and Podcasting in late 2004. During 2006 comical bits produced by Augustinus were broadcast weekly on Sirius Satellite Radio.
His stepfather was a seasoned storyteller and involved with the Tool & Die industry in Detroit and (as a boy) Augustinus often accompanied him when calling on clients. According to Augustinus, it was during these times that he "learned how to tell a story."
In 2012 his sister Sandra committed suicide after being diagnosed with bone cancer after being treated for breast cancer. Augustinus writes daily and performs his popular stand-up comedy routine regularly. His novel, 'Cats and Dogs' (ISBN 9780615596907) was an Amazon Humor Best Seller (#8), in February 2013. His novel 'Bedbadger' (ISBN 9780615759753) was released January 21, 2013 and was also featured on the Amazon Humor Best Seller list.
On August 26, 2015 while driving through Michigan, Augustinus saw a Jeep Cherokee lose control and roll over several times off I-75. Augustinus ran to the car and pulled two children from the smoking, overturned vehicle. On October 9th 2015, Augustinus was nominated for the prestigious Carnegie Medal.
- Women's Hospital 3980 John R Detroit, Michigan.
- Meissner, B: "The Adventures of E-Man", page 61. The Ferriscope FSU Yearbook, 1985.
- Nicks, J: "Associate Director", April 13, 1987. The Ferris State University Manufacturing Resources and Productivity Center.
- Fabian, D: "Just Missing Millions", PM Magazine, Nationally Syndicated Television Show. Channel 5 Saginaw, Michigan, 1986 (Search YouTube).
- Horgan, D: "It's ingenuity vs. corporate big bucks", page 1B. USA TODAY, 1988.
- Rubin, N: "Commercial cult hero's gig goes down the tubes", page 1E. Detroit Free Press, 1991.
- Ratliff, R: "Sometimes the line is fine between truly oddball and true genius", page 2D. Detroit Free Press, 1990.
- Manos, C: "Tribulations block the road to fame for inventive genius", page 8D. Detroit News, 1983.
- Sherman, P: "21 year old invents new flying toy", page 1A. Cadillac Evening News, 1981.
- Nguyen, L: "Electronic toys result from Ferris student's tinkering", page 3C. Detroit Free Press, 1984.
- Donovan, D: "Model UFO builder aims for the stars", page 11. Weekly World News, 1982.
- Rubin, N: "The Actor's Life Takes an Awful Lot of Confidence", page 6. Detroit Free Press Magazine, 1991.
- Snyder, J: "Reganomics to flying saucers' local inventors are keeping busy", page 3. Royal Oak Tribune, 1981.
- Raffel, J: "Ferris student inventor comes up with ingenious fishing method", page 4A. The Pioneer, 1986.
- Fink, D: "Do-it-yourself UFO his claim to fame", page A2. The Oakland Press, 1981.
- Chachere, V: "Politics Becomes Latest Chapter For Novelist-Inventor", page 2. Associated Press(AP), 2002.
- Pernik-Mertz, D: "Local artist's work graces tables across the state", page 2B. Rochester Clarion, 1991.
- Marci-Haney Talent Agency, Detroit, Michigan, 1991.
- Mishler, J: "Ferris State University", Director Alumni Relations, Nominated 2002 and 2003.
- Merlan, A: "A chat with Norm Augustinus, the guy holding the DeBlasio banner at Columbus Circle," Village Voice, 2014.
- "Thank You From The Original Teamsters of New York," CarriageOn.com/thank-you, 2016.
- Devereaux, B: "Man pulls kids out of SUV that flips '10 times' on I-75 in Bay County," M Live, 2015.
- Norm Augustinus official website
- McSweeney's The Great Pumpkin
- Detroit Free Press Sunday Magazine Article
- Detroit Free Press Cult Icon
- Detroit Free Press Article Norm Augustinus Science Fair
- Detroit Free Press Article 'Line is Fine Between Oddball and True Genius' by Rick Ratliff
- Village Voice 'A Chat with Norm Augustinus' by Anna Merlan
- MLive 'Man Pulls Kids Out of SUV That Flips On I-75 in Bay County'
- New York Daily News 'NYC Man Pulls Kids From Flipped SUV On Michigan Interstate'