Jack Henderson was born on October 3, 1958, in Springfield, Missouri, and
raised down the road in the small town of Buffalo, population about 1,200.
At that time there were just two television channels available via rooftop
antenna, and to call someone locally you needed to dial only 4 digits on
your black rotary phone. His number was 7789.
As a boy he was very shy, and books became a comfortable refuge. He read a
great deal, mostly books of facts, histories, paranormal accounts and fringe
sciences, and biographies of inventors. When he was 8, a favorite uncle gave
him a huge, antique 4-volume set of books called The Boy Mechanic, and these
provided years of evening projects in engineering, parlor magic,
electronics, astronomy, photography, radio, aviation, carpentry and
chemistry. Today on his bookshelves he still keeps a set of Brains Benton
mysteries from boyhood. These stories revolved around a shy, geeky youth who
spent a lot of time studying and tinkering in his home laboratory. Tom
Swift, boy inventor of the future, was another early hero.
Jack's first jobs were in radio broadcasting. (Eleanor Roosevelt said it:
"You must do the thing you fear you cannot do.") He worked as a disc jockey,
newscaster, copywriter and actor in radio dramas on local stations in
Missouri from age 16 to 20. Shyness was never overcome, but it became well
managed. He was voted "Man of Our Times" in his senior year of high school,
a title that was both more coveted and less practically specific than "Most
Likely to Succeed."
In college, he was a theatre major. To pay the bills while he and his
wife-to-be pursued their theatrical ambitions, he began working as a
freelance writer, soon almost exclusively for the medical and technology
fields. Partly out of career necessity, Jack has always made a hobby of
learning new things. He builds and flies radio-controlled model airplanes
(the big aerobatic ones, that can take off a finger), dabbles in amateur
radio, builds and tweaks computers, does studio photography, practices
sleight of hand, flies power kites, whittles boomerangs, brews gourmet beer,
and to relax, he makes bread. His favorite magicians are Ricky Jay and
Derren Brown, and his favorite author is Margaret Atwood.
Jack's been married for 22 years to the same wonderful woman, and they have
two fine daughters in their teens, both as well adjusted and self-assured as
he was withdrawn and bashful at their age. Circumference of Darkness is his