Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Ken Bradbury  

Pen Name: Freida Marie Crump

Genre: Fiction History

Audience: Adult; Young Adult; Children;

Born: 1955 in Quincy, Illinois

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Illinois Connection

Bradbury was born in Quincy and currently resides in Arenzville. He graduated from Illinois College in Jacksonville in 1971.

Biographical and Professional Information

Ken Bradbury is an author of the Associated Press award-winning ''The Coonridge Digest'', a newspaper column appearing in 14 newspapers in Illinois and Missouri. The column is the weekly observations of Freida Marie Crump, news correspondent from fictional Coonridge, Illinois. Bradbury has also written four books, ''The Coonridge Digest'', ''Around the World with Frieda Marie Crump'', ''The Coonridge Devotions'' and ''Homerville''. He is the author of over 300 published plays and musicals.

Along with co-author Robert Crowe, Bradbury won the Lincoln Library Award for the play “The Shadow of Giants.” Bradbury was an adjunct instructor of theatre at Lincoln Land Community College after teaching at Triopia High School in Concord, Illinois for 35 years. He was honored with numerous awards including: the Country Companies/WICS Channel 20 Golden Apple Award for teaching, the Western Illinois University Friend of the Arts Award, the Illinois College McGaw Citation for Excellence in the Arts, and was named Outstanding High School Teacher by Eastern Illinois University. He also received an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts Degree by MacMurray College and an honorary Doctor of Letters by Illinois College. The Jacksonville Hall of Fame recipient was given the Studs Terkel Humanities Award by the Illinois Arts Council in 2004.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

The Coonridge Digest
ISBN: 0964468107

Consortium. 1994

Humorous and sometimes biting comments from the mythical Freida Marie Crump, news correspondent from Coonridge, Illinois. This is a series of columns from syndicated columnist Ken Bradbury.

Around the World with Freida Marie Crump
ISBN: 0964468123

Consortium Publishing Company. 1999

Freida Marie Crump (a.k.a. Ken Bradbury) and husband Herb travel around the world. The news correspondent from Coonridge, Illiois, takes on the Russians, the Aussies and everyone in between. Everyone who enjoys travel should read this book of humor. Based upon the actual travel of Mr. Bradbury.

Coonridge Devotions
ISBN: 0970717334

Consortium Publishing Company. 2001

Coonridge Devotions is book of humor and insight by Freida Marie Crump, the imaginary and imaginative news correspondent from Coonridge, Illinois. Freida (a.k.a Ken Bradbury) provides 103 observations about our life and times, then concludes each item with a Christian prayer.

ISBN: 0974883018

Consortium Publishing Company. 2005

Ken Bradbury’s fourth book, homerville, is a compelling read, a series of snapshots of the intriguing residents of a small Illinois town in years gone by. Each chapter displays fascinating stories of the lives, and deaths, of the inhabitants of this small-town America. “It’s an affectionate look at the astoundingly peculiar people I’ve known,” said Bradbury. “Nowadays we medicate or relocate or otherwise ‘cure’ our local eccentrics. Frankly, I yearn for the days when they walked the streets in all their unconventional glory. I think that anyone who’s ever lived in a small town will recognize the types and, perhaps, miss them like I do.”

Speaking Engagements

Speaking Engagement Availability (Yes)