Fred J. Martin, Jr. believes wholeheartedly that learning is a life-long process. And so, not surprisingly, he was thrilled when research for his book: Abraham Lincoln’s Path to Reelection in 1864: Our Greatest Victory took him to the Library of Congress, The National Archives, the Chicago Historical Society, the Chicago Public Library, the New York Public Library, the Historical Libraries of Illinois, Ohio, Kentucky, Missouri and New York, The Huntington Library, the Duke University Archives, the Harvard Library, UC Berkeley Library, and the Newberry Library in Chicago. Additionally, Martin’s own personal library on Abraham Lincoln is extensive, and he has particularly enjoyed reading the Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln and the Congressional Globe, as well as the papers of Jefferson Davis.
His interest in Lincoln came from his parents, his teachers and his ancestry. Martin’s Alkire ancestors lived in New Salem, Illinois when Lincoln resided there. His relative, Thomas Ogden Osborn, left his Chicago law practice to organize the 39th Illinois Civil War Regiment, and when wounded, he left the hospital to campaign for Lincoln’s Reelection. Other Allen family great aunts and uncles, who came to Montana by covered wagon in 1866, had met Lincoln in Iowa.
Growing up in Montana, Martin experienced a measure of frontier living. He spent one summer working as a wrangler for horseback trips around Yellowstone Park. His father was a reporter and later Associate Editor of the Montana Farmer. As World War II approached, his father became Executive Director of the Defense and later War Savings Bond drives in Montana. After service in the Marine Corps during WWII, his father bought the Park County News in Livingston, and Martin worked there while in high school.
Martin met E. Palmer Hoyt, the publisher of The Denver Post, at a Montana Press Association meeting. Hoyt and Pat Paterson, CEO of United Airlines, would fly into Livingston to fish the Yellowstone, and Martin and his father took them fishing. After a particularly good day of fishing, Hoyt offered him a job. Martin went to work as a copy boy and entered the University of Denver. At the age of 19 he was promoted to reporter and interviewed such legendary celebrities as Actress Helen Hayes, Senator Estes Kefauver, and Humphrey Bogart
Martin subsequently graduated with an ROTC commission and was assigned to the Basic Infantry Officers Course at Fort Benning, GA, and then as an Infantry Lieutenant to the 24th Division, U.S. Army in Korea. His successive assignments included Platoon Leader, Regimental Liaison Officer and Assistant Division Public Information Officer. He then served on loan to the Department of State in the Office of Economic Coordinator, which was responsible for the US economic aid program geared toward the rebuilding of Korea.
As an Assistant Public Affairs Officer, Martin worked with the Office of the President, the cabinet and officialdom in Korea to clear obstacles for stalled projects and report on project status, as well as handle press relations. As a volunteer, he worked nights as copy editor for an independent English language newspaper. The managing editor and reporters at the paper impressed him deeply with their desire to gain equal rights for Koreans; rights as declared in the US Declaration of Independence. With these ideas in mind, Martin authored the Lost Chapter on Korea, an e-scholarship paper that can be found at: http://escholarship.org/uc/item/0jp544b0
Upon discharge, Martin joined the Associated Press in San Francisco and worked first as a reporter at the State Capital in Sacramento, CA, and then as a desk editor in the San Francisco and the Portland, OR bureaus, eventually reporting on the government and legislature in Salem, OR. Returning to San Francisco, he worked as a copy editor, picture editor and news editor on the San Francisco Examiner and then as the Urban Affairs Writer covering housing, planning redevelopment and civil rights.
His increasingly prominent role reporting on urban affairs, including investigative reporting, led to his recruitment by the Greater San Francisco Chamber of Commerce to handle governmental affairs. He was promoted to Assistant General Manager of The Chamber of Commerce and Editor of San Francisco Business, and served as a key public spokesperson for the Chamber in a series of articles he wrote of the city’s housing crisis, efforts to stem the exodus of industry and the redevelopment work in the city.
Martin co-authored two special sections in Fortune Magazine, one on the San Francisco business community and a second on the development of the Bay Area Rapid Transit System (BART). Martin subsequently joined Bank of America in 1964 to establish a public affairs program. At Bank of America he was promoted to Vice President, Public Affairs, where he built a department focused on grassroots organization and public policy development. After a four-year assignment as VP and Washington Representative, in 1986 he was promoted to Senior Vice President & Director of Government Relations for the bank.
In 1982, at the request of then-Governor Jerry Brown, Martin led a trade mission to China on behalf of the State of California, the City of San Francisco and Bank of America. In the 1970s, Martin had chaired San Francisco’s Proposition A, a $90 million bond issue for school construction, and a subsequent Proposition B, a parcel tax measure to provide school support. He also served as a consultant to the federal Department of Health, Education & Welfare, and served on the Federal Commission on Regional Educational Laboratories and Centers. He also served on the California State Advisory Commission on Education Innovation & Planning.
Martin served two terms as President and continues as a Director of The Abraham Lincoln Institute in Washington, DC, a group that fosters current scholarship on Abraham Lincoln. Martin was named to the Advisory Committee for The Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission. He serves as a director of The California Institute, which he helped initiate, and is a member of the National Press Club.
Martin became a Visiting Scholar at the University of California, Berkeley, Institute of Governmental Studies, subsequent to retirement as Senior Vice President & Director of Governmental Relations for Bank of America. He co-authored the chapter on Business & Government in the 1997 IGS publication, Governing California. He has also served as an instructor at San Francisco State University, teaching Public Affairs Reporting; and at Golden Gate University, teaching public policy analysis.
Martin has consulted widely for firms in health care, technology, engineering, educational lending and banking. He performed a governmental relations audit for Hewlett-Packard Co., and has advised many firms on governmental relations and industry relations. He served as a director of 21st Century Insurance Company, where he was chair of their Public Policy Committee and a member of the firm’s Audit Committee.
Martin is also a past chair of Citizens Research Foundation (which studied political campaign finance) at the University of Southern California. He served on the board of Citizens for World Trade, the Bay Area YMCA, and the California Council for International Trade. He is a member of the Commonwealth Club of California and St. Mary the Virgin Episcopal Church in San Francisco.
Martin is a Past President of State Governmental Affairs Council, a business group that works with governors and legislatures. He chaired the Governmental Relations Committee of Bay Area United Way, was a member of the Government Relations Committee of the American Bankers Association, and Director of the Public Affairs Council, the California Bankers Association and Northern CA Industry-Education Council. Martin also chaired Californians for the North American Free Trade Agreement, a grassroots effort to assure its passage by Congress. He has chaired or managed educational bond issue campaigns in San Francisco and for California.
Besides Abraham Lincoln, the other subject to which Martin is most devoted is mental health awareness. As Visiting Scholar at UC Berkeley, he initiated, organized, directed, developed funding, and chaired the 2002 Mental Health & Public Policy Symposium (teleconferenced between UC Berkeley and UCLA with cooperation from UCSF and the Commonwealth Club), and a Mental Health & Law Symposium in cooperation with the Boalt Hall School of Law, the Semel Institute of Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA, the Commonwealth Club and the San Francisco Foundation. These programs can be found at: http://www.mentalhealthlawsymposium.com/index.php
Martin is working with Boalt Hall Professors, Dr. Jonathan Simon and Stephen Rosenbaum, and their class, studying the Lanterman-Petris-Short Act. The act governs commitment hearings for persons with mental illness. The class project, in a legislative hearing format, invited prominent experts as witnesses and reviewed the relevance of the 40-year-old law. The class report will be shared with the relevant committee of the legislature and the State Attorney General. The ongoing project will convene a Mental Health and Public Policy Study Symposium during the next academic year beginning in the fall. Martin will serve to organize, produce and develop funding for the symposium, which builds on the two previous symposia.
Martin is a member of the National Association for the Mentally Ill and the Commonwealth Club. He currently is Vice Chairman of the planning committee for “Celebrating A Decade of Behavioral Health Court” in San Francisco and has written about the success and accomplishments of the court in the San Francisco Chronicle. The Court provides treatment and rehabilitation for persons who with a felony arrest are found to have a mental illness.
In addition to these passionate interests Martin has also served as a director of the American Running & Fitness Association and has run many marathons. He served on the California Governor’s Council of Wellness and Physical Fitness, the San Francisco Mayor’s Council on Physical Fitness & Sports, and the San Francisco Mayor’s Market Street Advisory Committee. He also served on the governor’s Pest Control Commission, reviewing the med-fly issue. He has been active in a number of political campaigns over the years.
Since retirement Martin has traveled with his wife, Shirlee, extensively in Europe, Asia, Australia, Russia, Turkey, and the Ukraine and on the fringe of Africa. The most recent was a 2,000-mile trip around Turkey and a visit to the Ukraine. Martin’s wife, Shirlee, taught for 34 years in the San Francisco Unified School District, and currently does work as a substitute teacher. Their daughter, Laurie, and her husband Patrick Linden, live in Lakeside, CA, and their son Drew, and his wife Christine, live in Lake Worth, FL.
Education: B.A., University of Denver, Major, History, Minor, Journalism (1950-54); Church Divinity School of the Pacific, Berkeley (1962-63); Senior Managers in Government Program, John F. Kennedy School, Harvard University (1984). Martin has audited by invitation, both during his active working years and subsequently, graduate Political Science courses at UC Berkeley.