About the Author

Watch this interview on Ipswich local cable television with Jim Kurtz, author of “The Green Box,” as he details the search for the father he never really knew, vividly telling a story that is war chronicle, romance, mystery, and personal reflection.

Jim Kurtz was born in White Plains, New York, in July of 1949.  The youngest of four sons, his father, a World War II veteran, died when he was two years old, and Jim was raised by his mother and grandparents. In 1967, he went to Gettysburg College where he studied political science, was president of his fraternity (Sigma Alpha Epsilon) and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in 1971.

For the first few years after college, Jim worked at a number of jobs; bartending was his favorite because of the stories he heard and the people he met. After his marriage in 1979, Jim became a manager at Interstate Lumber in Connecticut. Running a department of 60 employees and generating millions of dollars of business per year, Jim enjoyed the challenges of leading a major division of the company and creating a satisfying work environment for his staff. Jim worked at Interstate for twenty-four years.

In 1981, Jim’s older son, Michael, was born, followed two years later by his second son, Brian. In fatherhood, Jim found his greatest vocation and worked hard to provide his children with the emotional and practical support that he missed because of his father’s tragic early death.

Throughout his childhood, Jim attempted to learn what he could about his dad, Robert Kurtz, especially about his war experiences, but it wasn’t until 2001 that he began to research the story in earnest.  The information he found fired his imagination and in 2005, he sent a letter to Tim Russert inquiring about a venue to tell the amazing story he was uncovering. Unbeknownst to Jim, Tim Russert was putting together a book about relationships between fathers and their children. So impressed was Russert with Jim’s story, it became part of his book, Wisdom of Our Fathers, a collection of 150 remembrances taken from 70,000 that he reviewed.

The power of his father’s story and the support he received from Tim Russert and others encouraged Jim to delve deeper and led in 2010 to an article by Kevin Cullen in the Boston Sunday Globe magazine.  Both Cullen and Russert, before his death, suggested to Jim that he tell the full story in his own words and also describe the process of exploration that helped him come to know the father of whom he had no real memory.  So in 2012, Jim took up the challenge and began his memoir, The Green Box. Three years later, he self-published it.

Jim lives in Ipswich, Massachusetts, with his wife, Julie, and their Golden Retriever, Annie.  He writes, plays golf and spends as much time as he can with his children and grandchildren.