Ann Kirschner, acclaimed historian, author, and internationally recognized expert on technology and education, knows how to dig deep into history to find the untold stories of strong, determined women and bring them to life on the page. Her latest book, Lady at the O.K. Corral: The True Story of Josephine Marcus Earp (Harper), tells the story of the woman who was Wyatt Earp's common law wife for almost 50 years. Josephine is the same woman who sparked the world's most famous gunfight and helped shape the legend of Wyatt Earp and the Wild West, yet her name has been nearly erased from history. At long last, Kirschner gives Josephine the recognition she deserves, detailing how an aspiring actress and dancer from New York landed in Tombstone, Arizona and stole the heart of the most famous lawman of the Old West. Josephine's story is a colorful one, full of ambition, adventure, self-invention, and devotion that proves to be a reflection of America itself, from the post Civil War years to World War II. An active speaker, Kirschner regularly appears at schools and universities, historical societies, libraries, corporations, and women's groups.
Kirschner is also the author of Sala's Gift: My Mother's Holocaust Story, the heartbreaking, true story of her own mother's survival in seven different Nazi labor camps. The book is based on a collection of more than 350 letters and a diary that Kirschner's mother kept hidden while she was in the labor camps. The original letters are now in a permanent collection at the New York Public Library and are the subject of a traveling exhibit in the United States and Europe. The book was also made into a theatrical play, Letters to Sala, by Arlene Hutton, and a documentary film, The Letter Carrier, by Murray Nossel.
Kirschner's eclectic career has kept her in the forefront of technology and education, beginning with the early days of cable and satellite television, as well as the birth of the Internet and social media. Her experience as an entrepreneur and co-founder of five start-up companies spans the developing world of digital media for communication, entertainment, and research. Her own career has unfolded within a wide variety of organizations, from nonprofits to start-ups to corporations. She has balanced her various roles as teacher, marketer, new product developer, technology evangelist, and CEO with 40 years of marriage and raising three children.
A writer and contributor to a variety of newspapers and other publications, Kirschner began her career as a lecturer in Victorian literature at Princeton University, where she earned a Ph.D. in English. She now serves as the Dean of Macaulay Honors College at the City University of New York. An entrepreneur in media and technology, Kirschner created satellite and internet businesses for the National Football League and Columbia University's online education company, Fathom. She was named one of New York Magazine's Millennium New Yorkers and was honored as a distinguished graduate of Princeton University and the University of Buffalo. She also serves on the board of directors for numerous organizations, including Apollo, Public Agenda, the Jewish Women's Archive, and the Princeton University Graduate School Leadership Council. She lives in New York with her husband, Dr. Harold Weinberg, and is the mother of Elisabeth, Caroline, and Peter.
Praise for Lady at the O.K. Corral:
"Ann Kirschner brings a fresh, lively perspective to one of the great stories of the American frontier. Lady at the O.K. Corral reveals a fascinating intersection of Jewish history and the Wild West; its engaging narrative both celebrates and demystifies a legendary time and place."
-- Julie Salamon, author of Wendy and the Lost Boys
"Ann Kirschner delivers a frontier story for the ages--part Unsinkable Molly Brown, part Mama Rose, part Queen Esther, the story of Josephine Earp proves that even the best lawman in the Wild West needed a good woman to stand beside him, as improbable as their romance was, and as riveting a read as this book most certainly is."
-- Thane Rosenbaum, author of The Golems of Gotham and Payback: The Case for Revenge
"Thanks to Ann Kirschner's brilliant Lady at the O.K. Corral, we finally have the definitive story of Josie Earp. . . . This is a must-read book for anyone who loves narrative nonfiction, or simply enjoys a hellaciously well-told tale."
-- Jeff Guinn, author of The Last Gunfight: The Real Story of the Shootout at the O.K. Corral - And How It Changed the American West
"They say that the winners get to write the history books...According to Ann Kirschner's splendid Lady at the O.K. Corral...making people see her husband as one of history's good guys was something of an obsession with [Josephine Marcus]."
-- Wall Street Journal
"With a passion for research and an engaging flair for prose, Ann Kirschner has composed a biography of Josephine Marcus Earp that is a pleasure to read. No previous account has equaled in depth and understanding Kirschner's portrayals of Josephine and Wyatt--their families, diverse associates, their lives in a rapidly changing American West."
-- Harriet Rochlin, author of Pioneer Jews: A New Life in the Far West
"In this vivid tale of romance and high drama, Ann Kirschner reveals the dark secrets of Wyatt Earp's past and Josephine's Jewish immigrant family."
-- Abigail Pogrebin, author of Stars of David
"A great piece of historical detection, Kirschner brings to life a woman who had previously been just a footnote, just an oddity. This book brims with the vibrancy of the Arizona Territory and situates the daughter of Polish Jewish immigrants into the rough and tumble of a half century of American life. This is a story that has never been told and that is just fine. It awaited Ann Kirschner's imagination, research, and sweeping prose."
-- Hasia R. Diner, author of A Time for Gathering
"In this remarkable feat of historical sleuthing, Lady at the O.K. Corral paints a vibrant portrait of an uncommon couple whose love for one another and shared thirst for adventure took them to the farthest reaches of the Wild West during its blustery boom times."
-- Bruce J. Dinges, Arizona Historical Society
"A tour de force in the detective work of biography Ann Kirschner writes Josephine Sarah Marcus Earp back into American history ... A thoughtful and entertaining addition to the history of the American West, Jews in America, and the role of women in society."
-- David S. Ferriero, Former Director of the New York Public Libraries
"Old West aficionados will find in this book a fresh account of the most famous of gunfights, but Ann Kirschner's engrossing biography of Josephine Marcus Earp offers much, much more. The life of Josephine that unfolds so vividly in these pages is as colorful and complicated as that of Wyatt and hers, the reader will discover, was the more remarkable journey."
-- Stephen Aron, UCLA and Autry National Center
"Scrumptious is the only word to describe Ann Kirschner's Lady at the O.K. Corral: The True Story of Josephine Marcus Earp. This quick-paced biography has it all going on: sex, beauty, blood, guns, bad men and wild girls. Not to mention Hollywood and history."
-- USA Today
"Lady is as engaging as a novel. She has provided a delightful, thoughtful account of a little-known woman who shared a half-century of devotion with a legend."
-- American Jewish World
Praise for Sala's Gift:
"Evidence of humanity in the face of terrible conditions and of the religious faith and ritual that persisted despite the Nazi campaign to eliminate the Jews."
-- New York Times Book Review
"Sala's unique, stirring end-of-life gift are the letters and photos she received from her sister Raizel when Sala was a slave laborer.... A touching, interesting, and valuable history, one in which the personalities of the principals shine through the wretchedness."
-- Jewish Book World
"Sala Kirschner spent five years as a slave in Nazi camps as a teen. Now her daughter has gathered Sala's vintage snapshots and the letters that reached her in the camps into a moving volume."