Jean Parker Shepherd Jr. was an American storyteller, humorist, radio and TV personality, writer, and actor. Shepherd is known for the film A Christmas Story, which he narrated and co-scripted. During World War II, he served stateside in the U.S. Army Signal Corps. After his military service, Shepherd began his broadcast radio career in early 1945 on WJOB in Hammond, Indiana.
About Jean Shepherd in brief
Jean Parker Shepherd Jr. was an American storyteller, humorist, radio and TV personality, writer, and actor. Shepherd is known for the film A Christmas Story, which he narrated and co-scripted, based on his own semiautobiographical stories. During World War II, he served stateside in the U.S. Army Signal Corps. After his military service, Shepherd began his broadcast radio career in early 1945 on WJOB in Hammond, Indiana. His final radio show Shepherd’s Pie on WBAI in the mid-1990s had him reading unabridged, uninterrupted, andridged stories about the human condition. His most prophetic programs, however, were often scintillating, often about New York City life, and his participation in the March on Washington in 1963 during which Martin Luther King Jr. gave his speech, and another program that aired on November 25, 1963, covered the burial of President John F. Kennedy. He was married to actress Lois Nettleton for about six years, and they had a daughter, Lois Shepherd, and a son, Jean Parker Shepherd III, who died in 2010. He is survived by his wife, Lois, and their daughter, Jeanne Parker Shepherd, who was born in 1921 in Chicago, Illinois, and grew up in Hammond’s southeast side neighborhood of Hessville. Shep was a lifelong Chicago White Sox fan, and was a member of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Chicago Board of P.M. P.C. The movie A Christmas story is loosely based on Shepherd’s days growing up in Hessville, Indiana, where he graduated from Hammond High School in 1939.
He worked briefly as a mail carrier in a steel mill and earned his amateur radio license at age 16, sometimes claiming he was even younger. He began working in Cincinnati, Ohio, in January 1947 at WSAI, later also working at Cincinnati stations WCKY and WKRC the following year, before returning to WSAi in 1949. From 1951 to 1953, he had a late-night broadcast on KYW in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, after which he returned to Cincinnati for several different shows on WLW. His subsequent radio work consisted of short segments on several other stations, including crosstown WCBS, and occasional commentaries on NPR’s All Things Considered. In 1956, he settled in at WOR radio in New York, and on an overnight slot in 1956, where his fans delighted his fans by telling stories, reading poetry, and organizing comedic listener stunts. The most famous stunt was a hoax he created about a nonexistent book, I, Libertine, by a fake author \”Frederick R. Ewing\”, in 1956. Shepherd, Theodore Sturgeon, and Betty Ballantine later wrote the demanded book, with a cover painted by illustrator Frank Kelly Freas, published by Ballantine Books. His last WOR broadcast was on April 1, 1977, and he retired from radio in 1981.