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Jim Kirkpatrick
author of Before He Was Fab

A life-long resident of southern Illinois, Jim Kirkpatrick has been a Beatles fan since the early 1960s. He remembers the local publicity that was generated in 1964 about Beatle George Harrison having a sister who lived in Benton, Illinois. "But never in my wildest imagination did I expect that one day I would become friends with a Beatle sibling," Kirkpatrick said. That all began in January 1995, when Louise Harrison returned to Benton to help save the home that George had visited in 1963. George's visit was less that half a year before the Beatles' appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show and the outbreak of Beatlemania. "I thought that this was a unique story; there were so many interesting recollections," said Kirkpatrick. "It would be a shame if this were not preserved."

A graduate of Southern Illinois University at Carbondale with a degree in journalism, Kirkpatrick has worked for several southern Illinois newspapers, including The Southern Illinoisan, the Marion Daily Republican and the Du Quoin Evening Call. Since 1985, he has been employed as a congressional assistant. He has worked for congressmen Kenneth J. Gray, Glenn Poshard and David D. Phelps. Kirkpatrick lives on the edge of the Shawnee National Forest near Creal Springs, Illinois, with his wife, Brenda, and daughter, Chelsea. Before He Was Fab is his first book.