Gary W. Neidhardt is a retired software executive and American history lover living in Lilburn, Georgia. His first professional writing experiences were writing articles for computer software magazines in the 1980’s. His first book Poseidon and the PC published in 2013 was dedicated to his father’s World War II experiences.
Over time he became interested in the history of recovery from alcohol and drugs. His second book King Charles of New York City first published in 2015 is a biography of one of the most controversial men in the history of drug and alcohol recovery Charles B. Towns. Towns was the primary force behind the origin of the Federal Harrison Act passed in 1914, which led to the banning of morphine, heroin, cocaine and opium in the United States.
Gary was asked to present a history of Alcoholics Anonymous in Georgia in early 2015. His initial research revealed that four out of five letters that were written to Georgians from New York A.A. Headquarters during the 1940’s came from Margaret R. “Bobbie” Burger., — a female almost entirely overlooked in a history written mainly about men by men. Gary then started collecting whatever he could about her over the next couple of years. Beginning in late 2019, he made multiple visits to the General Service Office of Alcoholics Anonymous in New York. Though he did transcribe roughly a thousand of Bobbie’s letters, a small fraction of her production, his visits there were cut short by the pandemic. But through some very good fortune, he was able to locate Bobbie B.’s grandchildren. A collection of letters and pictures was discovered that had been hidden away for almost 70 years. They form a never-before discovered chronicle of how A.A. matured during and after World War II. Some of these include previously unknown letters written by A.A. co-founder Bill Wilson to Bobbie, which documented her contributions to Alcoholics Anonymous in a manner only he could provide.
Gary has written a great piece about Bobbie B. titled The Forgotten Fantastic Communicator that you can read here.
Gary, born and raised in Chagrin Falls, Ohio and a 1970 graduate from Ohio Wesleyan University, moved to New England in 1978 where for years he was part of America’s Technology Highway outside of Boston. He moved to Georgia in 1992. He is father of three and lives with his second wife Mary.
Gary joined us as a special guest presenter at the Recovery Speakers History Meeting to share a presentation on his research of Charles Towns and his book King Charles of New York City. You can listen to the recording of the presentation here.
You can learn more about Gary and his book King Charles of New York City at kingcharlesnyc.com.
A softcover of King Charles of New York City can be purchased at https://www.westwoodbookspublishing.com/books/king-charles-of-new-york-city/.
The King Charles book can also be purchased at the same price over Amazon.
Poseidon and the PC can be purchased on Amazon using this link:
Poseidon and the Pc: The Letters of Lt. Paul W. Neidhardt
Poseidon and the PC can also be purchased here: https://www.authorhouse.com/en/bookstore/bookdetails/428432-Poseidon-and-the-PC