Robert Jackson ’44

JacksonRobert Blake Jackson, 89, died peacefully Friday, February 12, 2016, at his Woodbury home. He was the husband of Marcella “Marcy” Jackson.

Mr. Jackson was born November 11, 1926, in Hartford, the son of Blake Smith and Freda Wilhelmina Welz. He graduated from Williston Academy in 1944 and was drafted into the U.S. Army from the freshman class of Amherst College. An infantry sergent, he sailed the Atlantic in a troop ship and crossed France in a boxcar to serve with the Armed Forces Network in Frankfurt, where he hosted a radio program from 1944 to 1946 before returning to complete his studies on the G.I. Bill for a degree in psychology. A member of Phi Delta Theta, he graduated from Amherst in 1950.

A member of the International Brotherhood of Magicians and the Society of American Magicians, he toured the Catskills the summer after college with L. Raymond Cox and His Merry Magical Mysteries.

Working at Johnson’s Bookstore in Springfield, Mass., from 1950 to 1952 led him to pursue a master of library science degree from Columbia University in 1953. At the East Orange Public Library from 1953 to 1966, he was head of community services, head of adult services at the main branch and promoted to coordinator of adult services for the entire system. He also taught courses in speed reading and the Great Books.

Writing reviews for the Library Journal led him to co-author an automobile book with Beman Lord and begin his writing career with the Henry Z. Walk Publishing Company. He became a published author of more than 40 books on juvenile sports and auto literature, many of which are still available on

He was the proud owner of an MG-TC and many other sports cars and illustrated his car books with his own photographs. He regularly attended and photographed races at Lime Rock and other New England race courses.

He was in the pits and at trackside at many Grand Prix automobile events at Watkins Glen, where he photographed famous race car drivers.

He was a member of the Woodbury Library Board in 1972 and 1973 and a lifetime member of The Author’s Guild, Inc.

He was a ham radio operator and still remembered Morse code signals.

Besides his wife, he leaves relatives in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, Vermont, Maryland, Texas, Washington and Oregon.

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