Author Norm Johnson has a highly varied resume: Journalist, off-road racer, publicist to the stars, famous race founder, open-road racer, sculptor…and now he has finished a forty-year journey with the writing of this book, “Magellans of the Sky.”
Johnson began his journalistic career as a reporter for the Copley News Service in Los Angeles, where he was nominated for a Pulitzer Award for his coverage of the Watts Riot in 1965. That story won him the Copley Journalism Award, United Press and Associated Press Award for “On the Spot News Coverage.” That same year he moved to Las Vegas and worked as a sports writer and columnist for the Las Vegas Sun newspaper. In 1967 Norm accepted a position in public relations for the Del Webb Corporation at the Mint Hotel (now the Horseshoe) where he created the world famous Mint 400 Off-Road Race. Soon he was being asked by various entertainers to do local, as well as national publicity. He soon formed his own public relations company. His clients over the years have been the whose-who of entertainment: Robert Goulet, Al Martino, Lola Falana, Johnny Ray, Matt Monroe, Joe Louis, Barbara Mandrell, Redd Fox, Johnny Paycheck, Steve Wynn, Fred Travalena, Mary Wilson, Pat Cooper, and Ray Romano to name just a few. Today he continues to do publicity for a select number of clients.
Four Planes Started, Only Two Finished
Aviation, History, U.S. Air Force
This is the true story of the First Flight Around the World in 1924. It involves four Donald Douglas Biplanes, eight United States Army aviators and more drama than a fiction writer could dream up. In flimsy, open cockpits these eight brave men defied all the elements, even the opposition and derision of their contemporaries. Ultimately they defied death itself! Major Fred Martin and Sgt. Alva Harvey crashed The City of Seattle World Cruiser in the ice-cold mountains of Alaska: The high spirited four-ton cruiser clung to life for a scant second before the left pontoon impacted against the mountain; she skidded along the sparsely covered mountain like a skier. The wings began to tear away, the propeller exploded as the plane carrying its two occupants careened up the mountain. It would be 10 horrifying days before they would reach civilization. Lt. Leigh Wade piloting the City of Boston along with co-pilot Lt. Henry Ogden were flying at 1000 feet over the North Atlantic when the oil pressure suddenly registered zero and smoke poured from the engine. Wade peered below in an effort to determine the direction of the waves. The wind grabbed at his face as the cruiser descended towards the sea. They were rescued by the United States Navy, as the Boston sank. Today in an age when men have been to the Moon and back, and mechanical rovers are traversing Mars, it is easily possible to forget a time many years ago when a journey of any distance by airplanes was truly difficult. This is that Story.