A Short Bio
I grew up in Northeast Philadelphia, went to Archbishop Ryan, and graduated in English from Penn State, with a specialization in writing. I got a Master’s in Computer Information Systems from Boston University, and to round out my education, I spent nearly 5 years in the army with a bad haircut.
I travelled all over Europe, lived a year in Japan, maintaining electronics equipment, spent a month in Turkey teaching computer maintenance to the Turk navy, and two weeks in Finland teaching computer maintenance at a nuclear power plant. I had many adventures.
I live in Sykesville, Maryland, now with my wife, Andrea, and our two kids. My first novel, The Keeper of the Ferris Wheel, won the Grand Prize in the Writer’s Digest National Self-Publishing Awards, and ended up with Penguin books.
The Carroll County, Maryland, library and school systems recently chose my book about Warren Dorsey as their first ever "one book," and we did talks all over the county and surrounding area.
What’s with the McBride?
McBride is my mother’s maiden name. My grandfather’s name was Jack McBride.
He was cool and unusual, a bit of an oddball, and very entertaining. When I published my first novel, I added McBride to distinguish me from any other Jack Whites who might come along.
There are thousands of us, but I never expected one would get famous and actually hang out with Neil Young. And that it wouldn't be me.
In a sense these are biographies, but it's really hard to fit them into a precise category. Basically, I've helped these men tell the stories of themselves and their families, and hopefully captured some of their humanity.
I guess if you want to simplify, you could say Carrie is about race, and Helen is about mental illness, and both are about families.
No, I'm not Jack White the rock star.
Sorry. Interestingly, I've always been a huge Neil Young fan, and Neil and the other Jack White are good friends. I was actually born John White, but no one calls me that. And when I was a kid, everyone called me "Jackie."
Although I love books and writing creatively, whether it's fiction or non-fiction, and recently spent five years running a history museum, I've always been fascinated by technology, and that's how I've made my living over the years.
I like fixing it. I like teaching it. I like writing about it. I've worked for a few famous organizations, including Dell, WebMD, L3, Ford Aerospace, Singer-Link, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and Mantech International.
What I'm up to Now
I've taken to writing a different sort of book. I recently published one called In Search of Helen from Two Locks and a few years before that I published In Carrie's Footprints, the Long Walk of Warren Dorsey.
This summer, Inspired by my book, the town of Sykesville named a park in Carrie Dorsey's name.
These are true stories, each based on the life of a man and his family. In one case, the man is black, the grandson of a slave, and currently 101 years old. In the other, the man is white and barely knew his mother, who was taken away when he was 7.
Both revere their mothers. Both had troubled fathers, who were there, but not really there. Each slept in a cold room in a shared bed with an older brother and a younger brother. Both grew up in crowded houses in small towns in rural Maryland.
About Jack McBride White
Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia