MICHAEL J. STEDMAN, South Boston born and bred, is a former political columnist, magazine writer, and intelligence consultant to major corporations. Formerly on the New England board of the Association for Intelligence Officers, he has been both a practitioner and critic of the spy world. Stedman, a former U.S. Army Reserve soldier with the 94th Infantry, has served as chairman of the New England Chapter of the Republican Jewish Coalition and President of his local Rotary Club. He lives outside of Boston with his wife. They have three sons, three daughters-in-law, and seven grandchildren, including identical twin boys.
But really... who is Michael J. Stedman?
Born Michael J. Hurley into a pre-arranged adoption at St. Mary's Infant Asylum in Boston's Dorchester neighborhood, Michael J. Stedman considers himself one of the luckiest people alive.
"I was raised an only child in Southie by the best parents in the best neighborhood in the best country in the world," he says. "That's what I learned growing up. Now that I've been lucky enough to travel around the world, that credo has been confirmed."
Growing up with a Yankee father and name in Old Harbor Village, a federal housing project full of Irish-Catholics, and having gone to a Polish elementary school, a French-Canadian summer camp, an Italian-American high school, and later, becoming a Jew-by-choice, Stedman considers himself, like Mack Maran, the hero of A for Argonaut, a "quintessential American."
He graduated from South Boston High School and Northeastern University. Abetted by three years' experience as a coop student at the Boston Globe and Worcester Telegram, he went to work as a sports reporter at the Lowell Sun after graduating.
"Since I knew Jack Kerouac had returned to his home town of Lowell, I took that job over opportunities to start at any of the three Boston dailies," Stedman says.
Stedman knew that Kerouac himself started his career as a sports writer for the Lowell Sun years earlier. The two met at a bar in Lowell and "got along famously," Stedman says, attributing what he says was a quixotic experience to his own better-late-than-never coming of age.
"Kerouac was the nearest thing I had to a hero. I had been through some tough times and thought that his literary success had given him the key to the Holy Grail."
Kerouac died a year later on an alcoholic binge.
The experience with the "King of the Beats" turned Stedman around. He called his contact at the Boston Herald, and accepted their earlier job offer as a reporter on the City Desk. During his ten years there, he covered the Massachusetts State House, wrote a column, and worked as an investigative reporter. He then served as Press Secretary for the state Department of Economic Development in the first Dukakis administration before taking a consulting engagement with a major corporation in Chicago. Upon completion, he fulfilled a life-time dream and purchased a seat on the Chicago Board Options Exchange.
Returning to Boston, Michael consolidated his investigative journalism skills and business experience to develop BINS, Business Intelligence Network Systems, a competitive intelligence practice working with Fortune 100 companies. It was this experience that led to his creation of Mack Maran, the main character in "A."
Other career highlights include teaching journalism at Boston University's Journalism school, writing columns for Bankers Monthly, Security Technology & Design, the Jewish Advocate, and others.
While not biographical, "A" and its hero, Mack Maran, encompass Michael's - and this country's - real life experience as well as Michael's fertile imagination.
A for Argonaut is Michael's first novel. He plans at least two sequels.