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Chet Cunningham

Chet Cunningham

Chet Cunningham made his home in San Diego, California, and was a prolific writer of novels and nonfiction. He came from a newspaper background, so he was geared to produce writing every day and not just when “the muse moved [him].” He has been quoted as saying he doesn’t believe in writer’s block.

In 1950, Cunningham was drafted in the Army. After nine months in Japan, he was sent to the front lines of the war in Korea. He participated in two battles and numerous line-crossings and prisoner patrols. Assigned to a heavy weapons company, he served as an 81 mm mortar gunner, squad leader, and section leader. His service earned him the Combat Infantryman’s Badge. Upon conclusion of two years of service, he was discharged in the rank of sergeant.

Cunningham was born in Nebraska, grew up in Oregon, worked in Michigan, and went to college in New York City. He eventually settled in California. He worked in an expanded den in his home and said he never got to work late due to fog, rain, and traffic jams. “Walk down the hall, turn left, and I’m at work.”

He graduated from Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon with a BA in journalism, and after his hitch in the Army he received his MS degree from the Columbia University Graduated School in Journalism in New York City in 1954.

Chet passed away at age 88 in March 2017.

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