Robert Jan Mrazek
Born November 6, 1945, in Newport, RI, Robert Jan Mrazek grew up in Huntington, Long Island, New York. He graduated from Cornell University in 1967 and then joined the US Navy. Following his discharge, Mrazek spent 1969-1971 as an aide to US Senator Vance Hartke (D-Indiana). In 1975, he was elected to the Legislature of Suffolk County and became its minority leader, serving through 1982.
Serving five terms in the U.S. Congress, Mrazek wrote several pieces of landmark legislation, among them a law to preserve 3,000,000 acres of old-growth forest in Alaska's Tongass National Forest, and a bill to significantly hamper US military intervention in Nicaragua. He co-wrote a law to protect the Manassas Civil War battlefield from being bulldozed into a corporate mall. Mrazek also authored the Amerasian Homecoming Act that brought home to the USA nineteen thousand children of American military personnel who had served in Vietnam. Over the objections of the Hollywood studios, he wrote the National Film Preservation Act, which established the National Film Registry in the Library of Congress to protect films of cultural importance.
Since his service in the U.S. Congress, Mrazek has authored ten books, earning the American Library Association’s top honor for military fiction, the Michael Shaara award for Civil War fiction, and Best Book (American History) from the Washington Post. He also wrote and co-directed the 2016 film The Congressman. He and his wife live in upstate NY and Maine.