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About the Author


John's trilogy of books on sports and philosophy, Socrates the Rower (courage, and self-knowledge);  Carrying the Clubs (golf and ethics); and Skiing and the Poetry of Snow  (glimpsing the world behind the world) are out there, inert, but steaming, waiting for you to pick them up, read them, and challenge your body and mind as you dive into life.


Now John has written fiction (intentionally this time).  Blood and Faith is an international thriller involving Russia, Ukraine and the United States in a crisis precipitated by the theft of Eastern Orthodoxy's most sacred Icon.  It is timely and historically prescient about the longstanding quarrels between Russia and Ukraine.



John's art credentials span forty eight years of working for and supporting the not for profit arts in his home state of Oregon and throughout the Country.  He has chaired both the Oregon Arts Commission and Oregon Humanities, is a singer and an ardent reader.

John played guard on Medford High’s State Championship football team, played in the Shrine All-Star Game and was Oregon’s High School Athlete/Scholar of the year. This was in 1960. Eons ago. He also went out for the golf team each year at Stanford and never made it. A lifetime later, he is a competitive rower with a drawer full of medals and the quixotic hope that his career as an athlete will never end.

With degrees from Stanford, Chicago and Oregon in American History, Christian Ethics and Law, John’s views on the First Amendment first became nationally known when he was Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts from 1989-92. That was the time, during the first Bush Administration, when congress got more mail about the artworks of Robert Mapplethorpe and Andres Serrano than in did about the Savings and Loan Crisis. Go figure.

A life-long trial lawyer, he is retired and lives in Medford, Oregon.


He is hard at work on a sequel to Blood and Faith.


Freedom of Speech and the Arts, C-SPAN, 1992

In an unusually heated speech, John Frohnmayer spoke against critics of the National Endowment for the Arts. He mainly blamed Patrick Buchanan for stirring up the controversy that prompted Mr. Frohnmayer’s firing from the National Endowment for the Arts last month. He also openly criticized President George H.W. Bush. Mr. Frohnmayer recited the First Amendment and ended his speech by singing a verse from the hymn “Simple Gifts.” He answered audience questions after his speech. 

Watch the recording here

Appearance on Charlie Rose

Monday 04/26/1993

John Frohnmayer, former chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, presents his new book, "Leaving Town Alive: Confessions of an Arts Warrior."

Watch the recording here

As I See it, We Have Truly Lost Our Way

Opinion piece in the Gazette Times, 2018

Read the article here

Interview with Senatorial Candidate, John Frohnmayer

Jay Thiemeyer speaks with Independent Party Senatorial Candidate John Frohnmayer. Frohnmayer is a lawyer, author and ethicist. He served as Chairman of the National Endowment For The Arts during the first Bush administration.

Listen to the interview here

Eight Suggestions for Democracy

John Frohnmayer was the keynote speaker at the Healthy Democracy 10th Anniversary Celebration on April 8, 2019.

Read the speech here

Carrying the Clubs, Five on 5

John Frohnmayer discusses his book, Carrying the Clubs on NBC's Five on 5, 2019

Watch the recording here

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