Robert Kirby (humor columnist)

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Robert Kirby (born 1953 in California)[1] is an American writer. He is a longtime humorist for the Salt Lake Tribune, often focusing on quirks of Utah and Mormon culture.

Biography[edit]

Kirby was born into a military family.[2] After completing high school he served as a missionary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) in Uruguay, where he learned to speak Spanish and met his future wife.[3] Following his return, he pursued a career in law enforcement. His first work as a policeman was with the Grantsville Police Department and later the Springville Police Department (1979). While taking night classes at nearby Brigham Young University Kirby began writing columns for the local newspapers, first the Springville Daily Herald, and later the Utah County Journal (writing under the pen name Officer John "Blitz" Kreeg)[3]

In 1989, Kirby decided to leave police work and devote himself to full-time writing. He has written a column for the Salt Lake Tribune since 1994, and has written at least nine books.

Kirby is a popular convention speaker, and travels widely to appear at conventions and meetings.[4]

His newspaper columns have won several regional awards.[5]

Samples of his newspaper column humor are widely available online.[6]

Writing style[edit]

Kirby, who is active in the LDS Church, often writes about its teachings and how its members interpret those teachings in their daily lives. Since many of the Salt Lake Tribune's readers are non-Mormon, Kirby attempts to explain (usually in a humorous way) the Mormon way of thinking to outsiders. At one time he referred to himself as an "OxyMormon".[7] This approach either alienates those Latter-day Saints who feel their beliefs should not be satirized, or endears itself to the reader.[8] Despite this discordant reception, Kirby has never faced church discipline and was once quoted favorably in the LDS Church's General Conference.[9][10]

Personal[edit]

As of 2017, Kirby lives in Herriman, Utah. He and his wife have three daughters and nine grandchildren.[3]

Published books[edit]

Novels:

  • Brigham's Bees (1991)
  • Dark Angel (2000)

Humor:

  • Happy Valley Patrol (1993)[11]
  • Sunday of the Living Dead (1995)
  • Wake Me for the Resurrection (1996)
  • Pat & Kirby go to Hell (or heck if you have the sticker edition) (1997)[12]
  • Family Home Screaming (1999)
  • Kirby Soup for the Soul (2003)[13]

Non-fiction:

  • END OF WATCH: Utah's Murdered Police Officers, 1853-2003 (University of Utah Press, February 2004)

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://affirmation.org/news/2009_071.shtml Affirmation website, accessed 25 Sept. 2009
  2. ^ http://ula.org/conference/2006conf/conf.html Utah Library Association website, accessed 25 Sept. 2009
  3. ^ a b c Salt Lake Tribune accessed 15 March 2017
  4. ^ I guess they booked me because they couldn't get a stripper is a typical comment when he announces a speaking engagement.
  5. ^ spj.blogspot.com/2007_06-01_archive.html "Kirby wins first place in 2007 Utah Headliners Award, Opinion Column Category (accessed 25 September 2009)
  6. ^ [e.g. http://greaterthings.com/Humor/KirbyClassics.htm Kirby Classics]
  7. ^ Websites for Journalists, accessed 25 September 2009
  8. ^ . . . I have come to think of [Kirby] as a rather peculiar uncle who shows up every few days to say something quirky and walks out, leaving everyone to think for a moment. I know when I see his name that I'm going to have a good morning. [1] (Blogsite) accessed 25 September 2009
  9. ^ Robert Kirby (15 June 2014). "Kicked out of the Mormon church? Who, me?". Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved 27 August 2014. 
  10. ^ Richard C. Edgley (October 2007). "Enduring Together". General Conference. Retrieved 27 August 2014. 
  11. ^ Bertolo website, accessed 25 September 2009
  12. ^ Adherents website, accessed 25 September 2009
  13. ^ Sam Weller Bookstore website, accessed 25 September 2009