Breecher, Maury M. 1944-

views updated

BREECHER, Maury M. 1944-

PERSONAL: Born November 7, 1944, in Jersey City, NJ; son of Maury, Sr. (an owner of a pest control company) and Marie (Martin) Breecher; married; first wife's name Connie (divorced); married Anne Boudreau (divorced, January, 1989); married Rebecca Oxford (a university administrator), February 22, 1991 (divorced, September 30, 1999); children: (first marriage) Martin, Christopher; (second marriage) Michael. Education: Attended Wichita State University and University of Kansas, between 1963 and 1967; State University of New York, B.S., 1987; University of Alabama—Birmingham, M.P.H., 1990; University of Alabama—Tuscaloosa, Ph.D., 1996. Religion: Unitarian-Universalist.

ADDRESSES: Home and office—18350 Hatteras St., No. 110, Tarzana, CA 91356. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER: Parsons Sun, Parsons, KS, staff member, 1966; Wichita Beacon, Wichita, KS, courthouse reporter, 1967-68; Salina Journal, Salina, KS, aviation editor, editorial page columnist, and reporter, 1968-71; Illinois State Medical Society, Chicago, IL, writer and executive assistant in Division of Public Relations, 1971-72; West Suburban Hospital, Oak Park, IL, public relations director, 1972-73; GP Group, Lantana, FL, articles editor, 1973-79; Feature Enterprises (syndicate), owner, editor, and chief writer, 1979-90; journalist and author, 1990—. University of Alabama, adjunct instructor, 1991; guest on television and radio programs; public speaker.

MEMBER: American Medical Writers Association, American Society of Journalists and Authors, Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, Authors Guild, Authors League of America, National Association of Science Writers, National Writers Union.


(With Robert Johnson and Shirley Linde) The Charleston Program: The Revolutionary New Way to Lose Weight, Green Tree Press (Erie, PA), 1988.

(With Shirley Linde) Healthy Homes in a Toxic World, Wiley (New York, NY), 1992.

(With James W. Anderson) Dr. Anderson's Antioxidant, Anti-aging Health Program, Carroll & Graf (New York, NY), 1996.

(With James E. Anderson) Live Longer Better: Dr. Anderson's Complete Anti-aging Health Program, Carroll & Graf Publishers (New York, NY) 1997.

(With Robert Johnson) The New Charleston Program: The Permanent Weight-Control Solution, Features Enterprises (Tarzana, CA), 2002.

Ghostwriter of books by other authors. Contributor to books, including Best Places to Stay in America's Cities: Unique Hotels, City Inns, and Bed and Breakfasts, edited by Kenneth Hale-Wehmann, Harvard Common Press (Cambridge, MA), 1986. Contributor of more than 1,000 articles to magazines, newspapers, and Internet publications, including Cooking Light, Dun's Business Month, Ladies' Home Journal, Medical World News, Psychology Today, In Touch, Working Mother, Woman's World, Reader's Digest, and Liberty: Magazine of Religious Freedom. Work distributed by Los Angeles Times Syndicate, News America/Times of London, and New York Times Syndicate. Also worked as articles editor, National Enquirer.

SIDELIGHTS: Maury M. Breecher once told CA: "I learn best by writing about what I have learned. That's why I chose to become a journalist and author. I wanted to be able to support myself by writing about what I have learned. While attending college I started my freelance career by selling an article about the difficulties encountered by the first female at the University of Kansas to be enrolled in the Army ROTC Program. Even after all these years, I remember thinking, 'Wow, they actually paid me to do this!' I've never gotten over that feeling.

"In the summer of 1966, my first paid job in journalism was on the Parsons Sun, a newspaper owned and edited by a feisty old newsman named Clyde Reed. I may have learned a bit about being a maverick from Reed. He felt that the spotlight of publicity was good for 'all that ails government.' I still agree with him.

"The pressure of supporting a family forced me to leave college prematurely during my senior year. I was able to talk my way into a wonderful full-time job, a plum assignment covering the Sedgwick County courthouse for the Wichita Beacon. The next year I had an opportunity to obtain a significant raise in salary at the Salina Journal, and, later, at the Illinois State Medical Society. I jumped at the chance to be in the medical information loop.

"Working for physicians enlightened me in many ways, both positive and negative. I did good work, especially in ghostwriting a series of articles about the growing problem and treatment of alcoholism in Illinois. I had hoped the society would continue to support such programs, but instead, the leaders decided to battle 'increasing governmental interference in medicine.'

"That's why I accepted a job—at double what I was then making—as one of several articles editors at the National Enquirer. My primary responsibility was to produce accurate medical stories. At that time, the Enquirer's reputation for accuracy wasn't the best. During my tenure there, I helped to develop an arrangement with the National Cancer Institute and the American Cancer Society to check our stories. I also was one of the editors who successfully lobbied for the creation of a research department to double-check the accuracy of medical stories turned in by freelancers and staff. The National Enquirer became the only tabloid newspaper—in fact, the only newspaper I know of—to require that tape recordings of interviews with medical experts be turned in with reporters' copy.

"The job had its satisfactions. Still, I wanted to get back to my own writing. I became a ghostwriter, which afforded me income to complete my bachelor's degree and earn a master's degree. Research pursued during that time led me to write Healthy Homes in a Toxic World. It was published in 1991, the same year I began studying for a doctorate in mass communication.

"My educational goal was to learn more about mass communication. What does science know about how effective messages are created, transmitted, and received? I enjoyed myself immensely. At the same time I developed diabetes.

"I hope to do future research and writing in the field of mass communication risk assessment and preventive health. Also, since I have the talent to make complicated medical information understandable, I will continue to write on medical topics."