Early life and education
Stephen Francis Tomajczyk (pronounced “Toe-MY-check”) was born in Newport, Rhode Island to Charles F. Tomajczyk, Jr. (b. Grand Rapids, Michigan) and Gretchen Ross (Mintz) Tomajczyk (b. Boston, Massachusetts) on March 30, 1960. Tomajczyk graduated from Chantilly High School (Chantilly, Virginia) in 1978 and from the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor) in 1982 with a Bachelor of Science degree in natural resources. He graduated from the New York Institute of Photography in 1997.
Tomajczyk was greatly influenced during his childhood by his mother and his maternal grandfather, Captain Emmanuel Ross Mintz, MD (US Navy Reserve) (1901-1985) who served as a field surgeon in the Central Pacific during World War II with the Marine's III Amphibious Corps. Both encouraged him to read, explore and pursue his creative interests, which included art, photography and writing short stories. Beginning in seventh grade, teachers pulled his parents in for after-school meetings to encourage his writing abilities. It culminated at the University of Michigan when his English professor returned the final paper of the semester, scribbling at the top: “I accuse you of possessing talent and I dare you to do something with it.” Tomajczyk took the challenge to heart and graduated with a contract in hand for his first nonfiction book, Eyes on the Gold.
The author’s first post-collegiate job was as an editor at 80 Micro (which is where poet and Marianne Moore Prize winner Susan Gubernat also served with him on the magazine staff), and as a newspaper columnist (“Running Shorts”) and correspondent. Over the next two decades he wrote 11 nonfiction books including a well-received series that focused on the capabilities of law enforcement and the US military.
Tomajczyk’s magazine articles have appeared in such diverse publications as Writers Digest, SWAT, Lost Treasure, Yankee, Sportscape and People. In addition to nonfiction, Tomajczyk’s early career also involved writing poetry with his poems being published in a number of small literary journals, including the Odessa Poetry Review, as well as anthologies. He sometimes published under the pseudonym Brendan O’Keefe.
As a senior lecturer, Tomajczyk taught writing and communication courses at both Franklin Pierce University and Rivier College in New Hampshire. Since the mid-1980s he has participated in the “Young Author’s Program,” whereby he visits elementary and middle schools to inspire children to pursue their creative writing interests.
In the 1990s, Tomajczyk served as a communications consultant to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (1990-1996) and assisted in developing that agency’s well-known national campaign, “America Responds to AIDS.” In 1995 while serving as President of the National Public Health Information Coalition, he founded and served as the managing editor of the American Journal of Health Communications, a quarterly magazine that promoted effective social-marketing techniques. And last, in 1998 he founded the internet-based website, Disaster Magazine, which covered natural disasters, technological failures and acts of terrorism, and led the public step-by-step on how to prepare for emergencies. As a result of his involvement with the latter project and because of his extensive involvement with counter-terrorism efforts, Tomajczyk was one of the first people contacted and interviewed by the national news media (e.g., Fox News Network, ABC Evening News, Washington Post, New England Cable News) in the aftermath of the September 11th 2001 terrorist attack.
Tomajczyk has resided in New Hampshire since 1980.
Visit his official Website for more information.
- Eyes on the Gold (1986) ISBN 0-89950-229-6
- The Children’s Writer's Marketplace (1987) ISBN 0-89471-421-X
- Dictionary of the Modern US Military (1996) ISBN 0-7864-0127-3
- US Elite Counter-Terrorist Forces (1997) ISBN 0-7603-0220-0
- Bomb Squads (1999) ISBN 0-7603-0560-9
- 101 Ways to Survive the Y2K Crisis (1999) ISBN 0-312-24591-2
- Carrier Battle Group (2000) ISBN 0-7603-0707-5
- Modern US Navy Destroyers (2001) ISBN 0-7603-0869-1
- US Counterterrorist Forces (2002) ISBN 0-7603-1363-6
- Black Hawk (2003) ISBN 0-7603-1591-4
- To Be a US Marine (2004) ISBN 0-7603-1788-7
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