Jean Shepherd spent his formative years right here in Hammond, during the 1920's and 1930's at 2907 Cleveland Street. He attended Harding Elementary School, in the Hessville section of the city. Later he graduated from Hammond High School in 1939. During World War II he served in the Signal Corps. He attended Indiana University before becoming a Cincinnati radio show host. While in Cincinnati he initiated a television show called "Rear Bumper".
During the 1950's, 1960's and 1970's, Mr. Shepherd hosted a late night show on radio station WOR in New York City and other east coast radio stations. This program was quite popular with large audiences. Anecdotes from his younger days in the Calumet Region, related on these radio shows provided material for magazine stories and for many hardcover and paperback editions of books published by Doubleday & Company and Dodd Publishing Company. He has also produced a television movie, "The Phantom of the Open Hearth", and a television series titled "Jean Shepherd's America", which aired on public television nationwide. However, his most noteworthy accomplishment is writing the screenplay for the popular movie "A Christmas Story", a classic from MGM Studios.
Mr. Shepherd was the proud recipient of the second annual Hammond Achievement Award on April 7th 1981. This award originated as a way for the City of Hammond to honor and give recognition each year to a person educated in Hammond who has achieved national or international fame in the field of the arts, science or business and industry. A plaque bearing a listing of the major achievements of the recipient along with the seals of the City of Hammond and The United States, will be on permanent display by the Hammond Historical Society in the Community Room of the Main Hammond Public Library.
Left- Warren G. Harding
Right- 2907 Cleveland Street
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