IBM speechwriter was also a novelist: The two careers of William Blankenship, a notable Ridgefielder
William “Bill” Blankenship had two careers, both successful and both involving writing.
The IBM speechwriter, who lived in Ridgefield in the 1970s, wrote novels in his spare time — a dozen of them.
Born in Chicago in 1934, Blankenship graduated from the University of Southern California in 1957.
After two years in the U.S. Army, he began a career in communications at the Pasadena Chamber of Commerce and then joined IBM, where he worked 30 years as a communications manager and speechwriter in San Jose, White Plains, Armonk, and Tokyo offices.
On the side, he wrote fiction. His 12 novels, many of them bestsellers, were The Helix Files, The Programmed Man, Leavenworth Irregulars, Tiger Ten, Yukon Gold, Brotherly Love, Blood Stripe, The Time of the Cricket, The Time of the Wolf, Ghost of Silicon Valley, Daisy on Wheels, and Mark Twain and the Hanging Judge.
They included science fiction, mysteries, thrillers, horror and historical tales and were published in 27 languages. Brotherly Love became a CBS movie of the week in 1985.
“Bill was a great friend to many and was loved for his warmth, humor, generosity, and the great tolerance and respect he showed towards everyone he knew,” his family said when he died in 2012 in Walnut Creek, Calif. at the age of 77. “He loved people and he made them laugh.”