About H.B. Koplowitz

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I’ve been a freelancer, reporter, editor, teacher and public information officer in small, medium and big cities, including Los Angeles, where I edited for the legendary City News Service, a regional wire service. I’ve also authored three books and ghostwrote a fourth for an Illinois governor who did not go to prison.

I was born and raised in the small southern Illinois college town of Carbondale. After graduating from high school in 1969, I briefly attended UCLA before dropping out to protest the war in Vietnam, which in my case meant hitchhiking cross-country and smoking pot. Eventually I limped home and my parents agreed to pay for my education at Southern Illinois University.

It was during the heady post-Watergate days of 1975, and as a 25-year-old college student, I had a promising start in journalism, founding a campus magazine, nonSequitur, and becoming student editor of the Daily Egyptian campus newspaper. I was even selected outstanding grad by the school’s journalism fraternity, to which I did not belong.

My first job out of college was with the Illinois Times, an alternative weekly in Springfield, the state capital. Then I got hired by my hometown daily newspaper, the Southern Illinoisan, first as a feature writer and later as a county beat reporter.

While working at the SI and living in Buckminster Fuller’s geodesic dome home, I wrote and self-published “Carbondale After Dark,” an illustrated anthology of history, essays and short stories about my hometown in the 1960s and ’70s.

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I became the southern Illinois special correspondent for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and used my Kaypro computer to create a community gadfly newsletter called the Carbondale Spectator, a monthly four-pager in which I took potshots at local shakers and movers.

Next, I went to grad school at Sangamon State University (now University of Illinois Springfield), where I was accepted into its Public Affairs Reporting program and interned as a statehouse reporter for the Springfield State Journal-Register.

After graduation, I became a public information officer for the Illinois Department of Rehabilitation Services, which funded community services for the disabled. I also began teaching English composition at a community college, and in 1990, I was asked to ghostwrite “Illinois State of the State,” a coffee-table book summarizing then-Gov. James R. Thompson’s 14-year administration, which he presented to the General Assembly in lieu of his final State of the State speech.

After taking a vacation to California in 1995 that included sneaking into the O.J. Simpson trial, in my 40s I moved to Los Angeles, the city of second chances. A distant relation got me a temporary job at the American Film Institute, and I began writing a column about the Internet and pop culture for a weekly called Entertainment Today.

Next, I got a job teaching journalism and faculty advising the student newspaper at a college in South-Central Los Angeles, which became the subject of my second book, “Blackspanic College.” And I became a copy editor at City News Service, where I worked for 15 years.

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I left City News in 2011 and moved to South Florida, where I live a quiet life of leisure and frugality, writing e-books and freelancing. My latest e-book, “Misadventures in Journalism,” is a gonzo anthology of stories I’ve covered over the past 40 years, from the 1976 GOP Convention to the O.J. Simpson trial of the century to Paris Hilton in the hoosegow.

I continue to be a news junkie, with a special interest in race relations, conflict zones, especially the Middle East, and pop culture.

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10 thoughts on “About H.B. Koplowitz

  1. Larry Peskin

    Enjoyed this. My grandparents lived next door to you on Briarwood. I remember your dog and its Santa Claus suit well!

    Reply
  2. Cary O'Dell

    Hi Harold–I’m working on a book on Carbondale’s “Bucky Dome.” Would love to talk to you briefly about your experiences “living in the round.” Can you contact me? THANKS!

    Reply
  3. HBKoplowitz Post author

    Hi Cary. Sorry it took me so long to get back to you. I’d be happy to talk to you about dome life. Even better, after moving out of the dome, in 1985, I wrote a magazine-length article about the experience, which never got published. Maybe I’ll polish it up and post it here soon.

    Reply
  4. steve brown

    H.P.
    Did you ever make contact with Cary O’Dell? He contacted me after I sent an email to a number of SIU folks on the planned Oct 23 event that involves the restoration effort of the Fuller house and the appearance of a very good reproduction of the Dymaxion Car.
    Hope all is well Florida can be nice — unless you are in the path of a hurricane

    Reply
    1. HBKoplowitz Post author

      At least you didn’t call me Carly. SB is a pretty common name, so just to be clear, you are the same SB who speaks for the speaker, and a mutual friend of the dearly departed JS?

      Reply

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