Press Release
June 1, 1999

The John D. Voelker Foundation is pleased to announce its June 19, 1999 celebration that will celebrate: 1. The Foundation's 10th Anniversary; 2. The 40th Anniversary of the filming of Anatomy of A Murder. A reception will be held at noon on Saturday, June 19, 1999 at the Historical Marquette County Courthouse, 234 W. Baraga Street, Marquette, MI 49881. Please R.S.V.P. to Richard Vander Veen, 616/897-4036, or George Hyde at 906/228-5715.

The John D. Voelker Foundation

John Voelker lived his life as most of us wish we could -- on his own terms. He was a renowned novelist and outdoor writer, an eminent member of the bench and bar, and a skilled fly fisherman. Author of 11 books and numerous stories including Anatomy of a Murder, a Michigan Supreme Court Justice who wrote over 100 finely crafted opinions, and self-proclaimed U.P. Cribbage Champ, John Voelker made many contributions that live on today.

The Voelker Foundation is a Michigan nonprofit corporation. founded in 1989, the Foundation is celebrating its 10th Anniversary. The Foundation's mission is to pay tribute to John Voelker, the ideals for which he stood, and the values that his life and writings exemplified. See our website <> Our first two initiatives are:

The Native American Scholarship Program: John declared that the first thing we should do is establish a Native American Scholarship. Why? Let em read my book!, he proclaimed, pointing to Laughing Whitefish. That historical novel describes a Chippewa woman's 19th century fight for justice -- all the way to the Michigan Supreme Court. So, we republished Laughing Whitefish in a limited edition of 300, each of which John signed. Foundation Members who subscribed to the edition helped these Native Americans attend law school:

Years Voelker Scholar Tribe Law School
1990-1994 George Hyde Sault Ste. Marie, Chippewa Thomas M. Cooley Marquette, MI Chippewa Graduate cum laude
1994-1998 Michelle Greendeer Oneida Triba andWisconsin Ho-Chunk Wazijaci Nation U. of Wisconsin, Madison
1996-1998 Brian Vigue Menominee Greenbay, WI U. of Wisconsin, Madison
1997-Present Alize Jo Schlecter Little Traverse Band Petoskey, MI Odawa and Chippewa U. of Michigan
1998-Present JoAnn Miller Grand Traverse Band Peshabestown, MI of Chippewa and Ottawa U. of Wisconsin, Madison
1998-Present Damian Fisher, Mt. Pleasant, MI. Saginaw Tribe of Chippewa  

We are proud of these Voelker scholars. Please help us further endow future scholarship awards.Years Voelker Scholar Tribe Law School 1990-1994 George Hyde Sault Ste. Marie Thomas M. Cooley Marquette, MI Chippewa Graduate cum laude

The Robert Traver Fly Fishing Fiction Award:

The Robert Traver Fly Fishing Fiction Award annually draws over 200 entries from across the country. The Traver Award was presented to the writer whose piece meets the criteria set by Nick Lyons and John Frey: A distinguished original work of short fiction that embodies an implicit love of fly-fishing, respect for the sport and the natural world in which it takes place, and high literary values. The following stories have been published in Fly Rod & Reel:

1994: Pete Fromm (Montana) Home Before Dark.
1995: Don Thomas (Montana) Ephemerella.
1996: Harry Humes (Lehigh Valley, PA) Ghost Pain.
1997: Gary Whitehead (Teaneck, NJ) For Keeps.
1998: Seth Norman (San Francisco, CA) Edith's Rule.

We encourage writers from around the globe to compete, honoring John's ability to put into words thoughts that few fly fisherman can express. He could draw word pictures of rising trout, the slash of a brookie to the fly and the mystery of what trout fishing is all about. -- Dave Richey. With help from the Frey Foundation, and, we hope, your support, the Traver Awards permanent endowment will continue to grow.

Please consider a tax-deductible contribution to the John D. Voelker Foundation, a Michigan non-profit, tax-exempt 501 (c)(3) Foundation. Members receive a limited, signed edition of John's Laughing Whitefish or Trout Madness. Both are slipcased and will enhance your Robert Traver/John Voelker collection. These rare books and copies of the Traver/Voelker videotape, ATrout Madness are available from our website: <>

1999 will be the 40th anniversary of the historic filming of Anatomy of a Murder in Ishpeming, Mount Shasta Lodge, the Marquette County Court House and Big Bay where the murder took place.

Anatomy of a Murder: Classic Movie

Great fame was achieved for Ishpeming and surrounding when Otto Preminger came to the area in 1959 and filmed this classic movie. Anatomy of a Murder earned six Academy Award nominations. Produced in black and white, the movie starred Jimmy Stewart, Lee Remick, George C. Scott, Eve Arden, Joseph P. Welch, and Ben Gazarra. Duke Ellington's brilliant musical score was written on location in Marquette; he appears in the movie as "Pie Eye," playing at the Mt. Shasta Road House.

Anatomy of A Murder is a riveting courtroom drama. The film pits humble Ishpeming lawyer (Jimmy Stewart) against the hard-headed Lansing-based Assistant Attorney General (George C. Scott - making his first movie appearance). Emotions flare as jealous army lieutenant (Ben Gazarra) pleads innocent to murdering the rapist of his seductive, beautiful wife (Lee Remick). Anatomy of a Murder is a cinematic masterpiece that will keep you on the edge of your seat!

Two books capture the hard work that went into the movie's 1959 filming: Anatomy of A Motion Picture and Joan G. Hansen's Anatomy the Making of A Movie

When Anatomy of a Murder, was published in 1958, John Voelker was 55 years old

Based on an actual murder case Voelker defended and won in 1952, Anatomy of a Murder rapidly achieved world wide fame.

Millions of copies were sold after the Book of the Month Club selected Anatomy of a Murder as its January 1958 selection. Characterized by the Chicago Sun-Times as a "fascinating and astounding achievement," this book established Voelker as an author of international stature.

In the July 30, 1967 Detroit News Magazine Voelker wrote, "Anatomy of a Murder was my fourth published book and my first novel. Before it I could keep my readers in a broom closet; with it they and I moved to a stadium. Before it I was an obscure middle-aged writer who precariously practiced law for a living; with it I overnight became a certified sage, an authentic tribal wise man, whose views were avidly sought and raptly listened to on everything from international finance to the efficacy of the Pill... Meanwhile the question of whether my book was any good got lost in the shuffle..."

In 1983 the 25th Anniversary Edition of Anatomy included an Introduction by Robert Traver, which quotes his creative writing teacher "An ounce of authenticity is worth a pound of windgassity." Traver continued, "I longed to try my hand at telling about a criminal trial the way it really was, and after my years of immersion, I felt equally strong that a great part of the tension and the drama of any major felony trial lay in its very understatement, its pent and stifled quality, not in the usually portrayed shoutings and stompings and assorted finger-waggings... So, I scribbled the winter away, doggedly expunging all aforesaids, finally putting down my pen and taking up my fly rod and bundling my story off to the New York publisher of my last book. Then I folded my arms and impatiently awaited his ecstatic response. One day it came, puzzlingly accompanied by my manuscript ...I tried another New York House...but... the rejection slip almost beat me back from the post office...Then...Sherman Baker at the new New York House...St. Martin's grabbed it--and doubtless saved me from a lifetime bondage of aforesaids.

After that things began to happen at a furious pace... the very weekend Sherman Baker phoned the book's acceptance, Governor G. Mennon Williams phoned his appointment of me to sit on the Michigan Supreme Court. Then the Book-of-the-Month Club nodded and beamed as the book soared off and got itself glued to the best-seller lists. A grinning Johnny Carson mispronounced my name on television. My split infinitives appeared in seventeen languages. Elihu Winer made a play out of my story...

"Then Otto Preminger and, it seemed, at least half of Hollywood descended upon the stone courthouse in which I'd postured and pirouetted before so many juries for so many years..."

Anatomy of A Murder Cast Autographs Preserved

Foundation Board Member, Anthony (Gigs) Gagliardi was the owner of the Roosevelt Night Club in 1959 during the filming of Anatomy of a Murder. Scenes from the movie take place in many familiar locations surrounding the Ishpeming area. The cast visited the Roosevelt for Gigs famous dinners and hospitality. Late one night after filming, every member of the Anatomy cast signed the Roosevelt's wall. The autographed wall has now been preserved by Gigs Gagliardi and Globe Printing.

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