Jim Bishop Chronology
by Dr. Michael Spencer
- Jim Bishops father, John Michael Bishop, a railroad brakeman, and his mother,
Jenny Josephine (Tier), are married in January at Saint Pauls Church in Jersey City,
- Jim Bishop(James Alonzo Bishop) is born on November 21 in Jersey City, New Jersey.
- His father joins the police force.
- After the eighth grade at St. Patricks parochial school in Jersey City, he drops
out of school.
- After dropping our of school, lives at home, never lasting more than three weeks at any
of the jobs his father gets for him.
- His first job is as office boy at Lehmen Brothers in Wall Street.
- Attends Drakes Secretarial School in Jersey City, studying typing, shorthand and
- This is the last formal education he receives.
- January 2. Begins work as a copy boy at the New York Daily News.
- Mark Hellinger gets him a job as a cub reporter at New Yorks Daily Mirror,
where he works until 1943.
- June 14. Marries Elinor Margaret Dunning.
- This is about when he begins taking notes on the Lincoln assassination, which he will
use in the end 25 years later for The Day Lincoln was Shot.
- Becomes assistant to the columnnist Mark Hellinger at the Daily Mirror.
- Is promoted to rewrite man and feature writer at the Mirror.
- Becomes associate editor at Colliers Magazine. He remains there until
- Becomes war editor at Colliers. He holds this position until 1946
- His book The Glass Crutch, the Biographical Novel of William Wynne Wister, is
published by Doubleday.
- Becomes executive editor of Liberty magazine. He holds this position until 1948.
- Accepts a job in Hollywood as a writer under Mark Hellinger, who has become a Hollywood
producer. But then Hellinger dies a few days before he leaves for Hollywood or quits his
- Becomes director of the literary department at the Music Corporation of America. He
holds this position until 1951.
- Is founding editor of Gold Medal Books (the juvenile division of Fawcett Publications).
He stays there until 1953.
- His book, The Mark Hellinger Story, a Biography of Broadway and Hollywood, is
published by Appleton-Century-Crofts.
- Goes to the Catholic Digest, where he is executive editor of the New York office and
founds the Catholic Digest Book Club. He stays there until 1955, when the money for The
Day Lincoln was Shot begins coming in, then resigns.
- His book The Girl in Poison Cottage is published as a Gold Medal Book by
- His book Parish Priest is published by McGraw-Hill
- Travels in the footsteps of Lincoln and Booth in the eastern United States, to prepare
for The Day Lincoln was Shot.
- His book, The Making of a Priest, is published by the Archdiocese of Newark.
(The principal author is Michael Joseph Milligan.)
- His book, The Day Lincoln Was Shot, is published. It becomes a bestseller and a
selection of the Book-of-the-Month-Club.
- After the money for The Day Lincoln Was Shot begins coming in, he quits at
Digest to become a full-time writer.
- Publishes a series of feature articles on desegregation for the Washington Post
- Interviews President Eisenhower for an article, "A Day with Dwight D.
Eisenhower," which appears in Cosmopolitan.
- Fighting Father Duffy is published by Vision Books(a childrens book
primarily written by his daughter Virginia Lee Bishop).
- The Golden Ham, a Candid Biography of Jackie Gleason, is published by Simon and
Schuster. A shortened version of this book appeared in this year also in three issues of
- Receives the Banshees Silver Lady Award.
- Receives the Catholic Institute of the Press Award
- Receives the Northwestern University Award for the best writing of the year.
- Receives the National Association of Independent Schools Award
- Begins publishing his column, "Jim Bishop: Reporter" with Hearsts King
Features Syndicate. He continues publishing this column until 1983.
- October. His first wife, Elinor, his mother, and his wifes mother, Maggy (who
lived with Bishop and his wife), all die within an 82 day period during this year.
- The Day Christ Died is published by Harper & Row. This book also is
serialized in McCalls Magazine. This book became a book selection of the
Literary Guild and wins the Catholic Institute of the Press award.
- Go with God is published by McGraw-Hill
- May 15. He is the principal speaker at St. Bonaventure Universitys High School
Press Day, also receiving an honorary doctors degree from St.
Bonaventure University this day. This begins his association with
St. Bonaventure University.
- Researches for a book on the Rosenberg spy case that is never publishedthe
proposed title was The Time of the Traitors.
- Some of My Very Best is published by All Saints Press.
- The Day Christ Was Born, a Reverential Reconstruction is published by Harper
- Helps institute the Mark Hellinger Award, which is given annually at St. Bonaventure
- May 19. Marries Elizabeth Jane Kelly Stone. She has two young daughters, Karen and
Kathleen, who live with them.
- During the 1961-2 television season he has a weekly program, "Byline-Jim
- The Murder Trial of Judge Peel is published by Simon & Schuster. (It deals
with a sensational Florida murder trial.)
- Writes the script for a movie, The Valley of the Fallen, which is a Spanish
civil war monument.
- Completes the manuscript for A Day in the Life of President Kennedy on November
12, ten days before the president is assassinated.
- Honeymoon Diary published by Harper and Row.
- Buys a house in Florida to live in.
- A Day in the Life of President Kennedy is published by Random House. This was
one of the top ten books in sales of this year.
- His book, Jim Bishop, Reporter, is published by Random House. (This is a
collection of his columns.)
- Is moderator of "A Re-Examination of the Warren Commission Findings: a Minority
Report," on WNEW-TV.
- Visits the White House for his book on President Johnson. Random House publishes this
book the same year as A Day in the Life of President Johnson.
- The Day Kennedy Was Shot is published by Funk & Wagnalls. It was preceded
by a conflict with the Kennedys, who didnt want him to do a book on the matter.
- The Days of Martin Luther King, Jr. is published by Putnam.
- FDRs Last Year, April 1944-April 1945 is published by W. Morrow.
- The Birth of the United States is published by Morrow.
- The Day Christ Died is telecast as a movie made for television.
- A Bishops Confession is published by Little, Brown.
- Retires, and his newspaper columns cease.
- July 26. Dies of a respiratory failure in Delray Beach, Florida
- July 29. His funeral is at St. Vincent Ferrer Church in Delray, Florida. Instead of
flowers, his family asks that donations be sent to the Jim Bishop Scholarship Fund at St.
Spencer ( firstname.lastname@example.org )
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last updated: 11 December 2007