Monday, February 4, 2013

Jim Kjelgaard (1910-1959)-Part 2

Betty Kjelgaard (1916-1977?)

As I indicated in my post from yesterday, a lot of the information on Jim Kjelgaard found on the Internet is incomplete and inaccurate. Here's a good example: Jim Kjelgaard's sister, Betty Kjelgaard, was also a successful writer. Doesn't Betty Kjelgaard figure somewhere in her brother's biography? Shouldn't you be able to find something on her somewhere on the Internet? Not yet I suppose. I'll begin to correct that oversight here.

Betty M. Kjelgaard was born on September 1, 1916, in Pennsylvania, the youngest of six children (I believe). Like her older brother, she wrote stories and published her first before age thirty. They were romances mostly and stories for women and young people, who were then beginning to be called "teenagers." Between 1945 and 1966 (according to what I could find), Betty had her work printed in women's magazines (Family Circle, McCall's, RedbookWoman's Day, Woman's Home Companion) and This Week, a syndicated magazine section for the nation's Sunday papers. Her stories also found their way into two books: Teen-Age Companion (1946), edited by Frank Owen, and Hit Parade of Short Stories (Scholastic, 1964). Frank Owen (1893-1968) by the way was a contributor to Weird Tales. He also edited Teen-Age Mystery Stories from 1948.

Betty Kjelgaard had the distinction of having one of her stories, "The End of Night," adapted to television. Frederic Brady wrote the teleplay for a performance on Chevron Hall of Stars in 1956. The last credit I could find for her is an article in Ford Times called "The Lure of the Catskills," from September 1968. Betty Kjelgaard died in 1977 according to an uncorroborated source on the Internet.

Teen-Age Companion was aimed at that new creature, the teenager, in 1946. One of the stories inside is by Betty Kjelgaard. 
Another Betty Kjelgaard story appeared in Hit Parade of Short Stories in 1964.
Betty Kjelgaard's fiction was mostly for women's magazines, as in this issue of Woman's Day from September 1966. The illustration is by Andy Virgil. Collectors of Volkswagen art would have been pleased.
This is for Bette, a driver of a Volkswagen.
Text and captions copyright 2013 Terence E. Hanley

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