Biographies

Character-Driven & Action-Packed Stories

At Braun Ink, we write and produce memoirs and biographies that are character-driven, action-packed, and insight-rich. We conduct research, write, and then produce the work in various formats including print, electronic, and audio. We also create companion pieces, such as short videos and engaging presentations.

While our clients typically prefer memoirs and biographies that are 125-250 pages, we write books of all lengths.

Braun Ink clients range from company executives and entrepreneurs to individuals who want to share their story with family and friends. Our clients have several options for publishing their biographies and memoirs:

  • Limited print editions for business colleagues, friends, and family.
  • Broadly distributed books where Braun Ink creates and manages Amazon and other online seller accounts.
  • The Braun Collection, a growing suite of executive biographies and memoirs that intimately acquaint global business people with executives and entrepreneurs across industries and geographies. These skillfully written, action-packed books go deep fast to uncover the lives, backgrounds, obstacles, opportunities, and best and worst ideas of the decision-makers who have changed the business landscape. The biographies and memoirs include companion pieces such as presentations, videos, chapter summaries and study guides.

I cannot begin to properly convey to you how excited and honored I felt receiving this outstanding book! This book should be in every American home… every public library… it should be incorporated into every university business ethics class and made as required reading. It is the quintessential map on how to attain the American dream.*

*As a ghostwriting firm, Braun Ink doesn’t aggressively publicize kudos for books it has ghostwritten; for instance, we don’t place the names of books next to kudos, so as to keep them anonymous. However, we do post and celebrate the kudos!

Life With Ham

by Terry Biggar

Friends and family pay humorous (and serious) tribute to Ham Biggar by recalling his years of playing squash, hunting, and building restaurants and night clubs. Each vignette beats with love for the man and his passion for life.

Five Generations

by Bob Gries

Philanthropist and investor Bob Gries tells the remarkable stories of five generations of his family, from Simson Thorman, who arrived in Cleveland, Ohio, in the 1830s and became the city’s first Jewish settler, to the founders of May Company and the Cleveland Browns football team. Love of Cleveland is a life theme for Gries and his ancestors.

Little Did We Know

by John R. Miller

The true, detailed, and humorous story of building and financing the Trans Alaska Pipeline as told by John Miller, an engineer turned financier who raises over $6 billion (in the 1970s) to pay for the Standard Oil Company of Ohio’s portion of the Alaskan venture.

Three Families

by Allen Ford

This book traces the history and lives of three of the author’s ancestral families, detailing how people migrated to the Connecticut Western Reserve in Ohio in the early 19th century, bringing with them a strong sense of independence, freedom, and love of education.

Lucky Breaks

by Chuck Ames

The former vice chairman of Clayton, Dubilier & Rice recalls growing up in the Great Plains during the Depression and how his father’s skill in the dairy products market shaped his own career in industrial marketing.

One Thing Led to Another

by John Burns

John Burns is one of the largest collectors of golf memorabilia in the world, and his Bobby Jones collection is a true treasure. We learn about the collector, the act of collecting, and the collection itself.

Reminiscences

by Joseph Milgram

Joe Milgram writes about serving in the army during WWII (especially the Battle of the Bulge), the risky move of leaving a career to buy a business after the age of 50, and developing his love for photography.

Gumption and Gusto

by Neil Ruddock

When Betty Kidder Ruddock was three, her mother died of diphtheria. Then her father lost his job, succumbed to alcoholism, and was unable to support his family. By age eight, Betty was living with strangers in a boarding house near Akron, Ohio, begging for food and making money by picking strawberries. Betty’s husband tells her story of resilience, forgiveness, and joy.

Living in Color

by John Haugh and Mike Shaughnessy

John Haugh and Mike Shaughnessy pioneered the liquid colorants industry with ColorMatrix, a company that thrived in spite of labor challenges, urban politics, failed business relationships, and a raid by federal authorities. It was acquired for a sum of money that, when they started the business, they never imagined they’d see.

Circles of Life: Family Friends and Healthcare

by Jack Matloff

Dr. Jack Matloff, a famed cardiothoracic surgeon, loves his patients—commoners and Hollywood hoi polloi alike—with all his heart. He takes us from his beginnings as the son of a Jewish immigrant milkman to becoming the first chairman of cardiothoracic surgery at the newly formed Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

Opportunity of a Lifetime

by Roy Gentles

The former CEO of Alcan tells us about growing up in Depression-era Canada, serving on a convoy escort ship in World War II, and rising up the ranks to run a multi-national, multi-billion dollar company during the rise of American industrial capitalism.

Recollections

by Alton Whitehouse

Al Whitehouse went from being corporate lawyer to chairman of the Standard Oil Company when it was developing and financing the biggest private peacetime project in US history (the Trans Alaska Pipeline). Whitehouse also discusses his rich family life as both a Northerner and Southerner, and covers his love for the American west.

Beyond Silicon Valley

By Michael Goldberg

A revered entrepreneurship professor takes readers on an international adventure, profiling 20 global entrepreneurs who energized the startup ecosystems in their communities. Beyond Silicon Valley will change how you think about entrepreneurship.

Aging with Attitude

By Bob Gries

In his book, Bob tells tales of his remarkable mountain climbing, biking, and long distance running adventures around the world. Incredibly, he didn’t start his 108 (and counting) adventures until age 51. This story is as much about aging as it is about adventure.

Using Comic Books in the Classroom

When using a comic book, business educators have the opportunity to develop these business competencies in students. Such competencies are in high demand in the business workplace.

Ask students to:

  • SUMMARIZE and SYNTHESIZE the actions, images, people, and topics.
  • DEVELOP ARGUMENTS about and CRITICALLY APPRAISE key actions and decisions made by executives.
  • OFFER SUPPORT for their arguments using text and facts.
  • REFLECT ON how the comic book characters’ views and actions compare and contrast to their own.
  • SHOW CURIOSITY about business leaders through asking questions of the main subject/CEO, if the LIVE VIDEO VISIT option is chosen by educators.

Using CEO Memoirs & Biographies in the Classroom

Memoirs and biographies combine the case method with more immersive and experiential learning because readers are immersed in the story and narrative. Narratives are arguably the most effective way to teach and learn in general. Studies have shown that students consistently recall information tied to storytelling better than material presented without storytelling. Organizational psychologists have found that learning from a well-told story is remembered “far longer” than learning derived from facts and figures and that facts are 20 times more likely to be remembered if they’re part of a story.

Braun Collection books and comic books enable business educators to use narrative to enhance the learning experience of their students. Further, it seems that people who read narratives that “oscillate” (i.e., the narratives do not offer a story of clear ascent or descent but rather a story of oscillating successes and failures) have better resilience later in their own lives and careers when making their own decisions. This is because they have reference points (the prior narratives) that consist of patterns of oscillation as opposed to clear-cut ascent or descent2. As we know in real life, decisions rarely involve clear-cut ascent or descent situations. Braun Collection materials do  show neither deeply flawed heroes nor perfect decision makers, rather people who deal with the ups and downs of the issues and
opportunities in their lives and careers.

When using a True Business Adventure Tale (CEO memoir or biography), business educators have the opportunity to develop these business competencies in students. Such competencies are in high demand in the business workplace.

Ask students to:

  • SUMMARIZE the actions, people, and topics and SYNTHESIZE all the information into the theme of the book. Synthesizing key topics and themes is important in business.
  • DEVELOP ARGUMENTS about and CRITICALLY APPRAISE key actions and decisions made by executives. Being able to develop and appraise various actions is important in business.
  • OFFER SUPPORT for their arguments using text and facts as opposed to pure opinion and conjecture. Knowing how to offer factual, even if not scientific, evidence is important in business.
  • REFLECT ON how the subjects and authors views and actions compare and contrast to their own. A level of appropriate reflection is shown to build a level of warmth and relationships that matter for business.
  • SHOW CURIOSITY about business leaders through asking questions of the authors, if the LIVE VIDEO VISIT option is chosen by educators. Asking good questions is a vital business skill.