Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Janice Petterchak  

Pen Name: None


Audience: Adult;

Born: in Springfield, Illinois

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Illinois Connection

Janice was born in Springfield and currently resides in Rochester, Illinois.

Biographical and Professional Information

Janice specializes in researching and writing commissioned biographies and business histories. She is the author of ''Lone Scout'', a biography of WD Boyce, founder of the Boy Scouts of America and ''Out to Sea Again: A Naval Armed Guard in World War II''. She has also has authored or co-authored biographies of former Chicago Cubs broadcaster Jack Brickhouse, Andrew Mcnally III, chairman emeritus of Rand McNally and Nathan Cummings, founder of the Sara Lee Corporation. Janice received a B.S. in Political Studies and M.A. in American History, both from Sangamon State University (now the University of Illinois at Springfield) and has been the Assistant Executive Director of the Illinois State Historical Society, Coordinator of the Congress of Illinois Historical Societies and Museums, Associate Editor of the Illinois Historical Journal and Director of the Illinois State Historical Library (now the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library.). She also is a past president of the Sangamon County Historical Society.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

Mapping a life's journey: The legacy of Andrew McNally III, Chairman Emeritus, Rand McNally

Rand McNally. 1995

Jack Brickhouse: A Voice for All Seasons
ISBN: 0809230771

Contemporary Books. 1997

Jack Brickhouse: A Voice for All Seasons by Janice A. Petterchak spans the Hall of Fame broadcaster's 60-year career, from his humble hometown beginnings in Peoria, Illinois, to his 40-year reign as the voice of the Chicago Cubs. He has also broadcast for the Bulls, the White Sox, and the Bears. Packed with anecdotes, comments, and one-of-a-kind stories from Chicago icons such as Ernie Banks, Irv Kupcinet, and Harry Caray as well as Brickhouse himself, this authorized biography also includes some rare photographs. The rich history of Chicago and the evolution of sports and broadcasting are interwoven in this entertaining chronicle of one man's extraordinary life.

To Share: The Heritage, Legend, and Legacy of Nathan Cummings
ISBN: 0965319849

Legacy Press. 2000

Great read!

Out to sea again: A Naval Armed Guard in World War II
ISBN: 0965319865

Legacy Press. 2002

Lone Scout: W. D. Boyce and American Boy Scouting
ISBN: 0965319873

Legacy Press. 2003

"Lone Scout: W. D. Boyce and American Boy Scouting" is the biography of a Progressive-era Chicago businessman and world-wide explorer. Paralleling Theodore Roosevelt in many activities, during his lifetime Boyce (1858-1929) attained international prominence--"a man with friends in almost every civilized country." His sustaining legacy, also a reflection of Roosevelt's interest in and concern for children, was bringing the concept of Boy Scouting to the United States and combining it with youth programs established by the YMCA and other organizations. This is the first authoritative biography of William D. Boyce, founder in 1910 of the Boy Scouts of America.

Born to a Pennsylvania farm family, Boyce's monetary successes were as a Chicago newspaper publisher. Between 1887 and the early 1930s, his periodicals were read by millions of subscribers in rural and small-town America.

A lifelong adventurer, Boyce made extensive trips to all parts of the world. During World War One, he traveled to Europe on the British luxury liner Lusitania (three months before it was torpedoed by a German submarine). He made two African safaris and spent nearly a year traversing South America. Sending detailed reports of those foreign experiences as articles for his newspapers, the stories were later reprinted in books published by Rand McNally & Company.

Among the last hugely successful turn-of-the-century entrepreneurs, Boyce amassed a fortune valued in 1916 at $20 million (approximately $328 million in 2003 value). Perhaps because his death in 1929 occurred on the brink of the Great Depression--a time of vast economic and political change, W. D. Boyce has been virtually forgotten in American history. Yet his accomplishments were many, and his lasting gift is the Scouting program he initiated in 1910 and helped finance through the early years, a program that today serves more than four million American boys.

Historic Illinois: An Illustrated History (Community Heritage)
ISBN: 1893619494

HPN Books. 2005

An illustrated history of the State of Illinois, paired with histories of the local companies.

From a Kansas Farm to the Engineering Hall of Fame: The Legacy of Walter E. Hanson P.E., S.E., Hon. M. ASCE
ISBN: 0977789705

Legacy Press. 2007

The Soldier's General: Omar Bradley and the United States Military in Peace and War
ISBN: 0977789713

Legacy Press. 2014

The Soldier's General: Omar Bradley and the United States Military in Peace and War is the full-life biography of Missouri native Omar Nelson Bradley (1893-1981), the last five-star General of the U.S. Army. The book includes his World War II service in North Africa, Sicily, and the European theater, where he achieved international acclaim as the soldier's general. Immediately after the war, Bradley headed the Veterans Administration, implementing the 1944 G. I. Bill for returning service members. Two years later he became Army Chief of Staff and then, during the Korean War, served as the first Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Following a four-decade military career, Bradley spent some twenty years in the corporate world. As chairman of the Bulova Company during the Vietnam conflict, he led the firm's transformation from watch-making into one of the nation's foremost defense contractors. And, through his best-selling memoir and as adviser for the award-winning movie Patton, Bradley highly influenced the public memory of World War II.


Janice was honored at the 2004 Illinois Authors Book Fair sponsored by the Illinois Center for the Book and the Illinois State Library in Springfield, Illinois.

Speaking Engagements

Speaking Engagement Availability (Yes)