Austin, Texas , United States
|| August 01, 1954
Sep 16, 2019 03:53pm
Born August 1, 1954 in Hammond, Indiana. Parents, John (retired from the oil-refinery and steel-mill industries) and Elaine (a retired executive secretary), still live in Indiana in a house they built when Michael was two years old. Two younger (but much taller) brothers, Chuck and Steve; both married and living in neighboring Midwest states (Southfield, MI, and Aurora, IL, respectively).
Joined the Cub Scouts at age 6 and began marching in Independence Day parades, where later as a Boy Scout he carried the American flag (a task that he undertook with great dignity and respect). Achieved the rank of Life Scout and missed his Eagle badge by only three merit badges. Served as assistant Scoutmaster in Bloomington (in college), and as an adult Scout leader for a total of ten years. (Cites his favorite part as helping Scouts to achieve their Citizenship merit badges.)
Enrolled in 1972 at Indiana University in Bloomington as a Marine Biology major (with dreams of sailing the oceans with Jacques Cousteau); later switched to Chemistry as a more practical career path.
While in college, served as volunteer for American Red Cross and as an Advanced First Aid instructor, CPR instructor, Water Safety Instructor trainer, and chairman of the Bloomington Volunteers and Disaster Action Teams.
Hobbies include photography (including darkroom developing), camping, sailing, canoeing, mountain-climbing, scuba-diving1 (starting at age 12), skydiving, hang-gliding, snow-skiing, shooting (pistol, rifle and bow-and-arrow) and motorcycling. He also enjoys exploring all types of museums and libraries.
Became interested in the U.S. Constitution in 1983 and began a life-long journey in self-study of this founding document of the country he is so proud to call his home.
Became a Computer Programmer in 1977 for Commonwealth Edison at their nuclear power plant in Zion, Illinois; taught control room operators about computers. Was promoted to Senior Software Engineer for their Braidwood Nuclear Simulator project, which he managed from '82-'85 (his favorite job assignment, basically a $6-million "computer game" for which he was totally responsible).
Moved to Montebello, CA, and held a "secret security" clearance at Northrop to work on the Stealth Bomber simulator, '85-'87.
Relocated to San Luis Obispo, CA, in 1987 as a System Administrator and computer trainer at PG&E's Diablo Canyon nuclear plant; spent 10 years as a member of the Applied Technology Services Team writing software and traveling the state installing real-time data-collection servers to their remote power stations; was an instructor for hundreds of employees teaching state-of-the-art systems being installed.
Moved to Austin, TX, in 1997 where he was a programmer and a trainer for Evolutionary Technologies International. He quickly became the Senior Trainer and began traveling across the U.S., and to Canada, England and Australia, as instructor, consultant and "high-tech diplomat."
Became an independent computer consultant in 2001, but began to turn his attention (and talents as an instructor and communicator) to teaching his 8-hour "Introduction to the Constitution" class.
Was elected Executive Vice-President of his dormitory at Indiana University, and became a BMOC ('big man on campus') known for getting things done, while always maintaining the high principles instilled by his parents.
Was put-off by the "politics of politics" until his greater understanding of the Constitution led him to the Libertarian Party, and a renewed optimism.
Libertarian candidate for Texas House of Representatives (Austin-area) in 2000 and 2002.
Made official announcement as a candidate for the Libertarian Party presidential nomination on February 17, 2003 (Presidents' Day) and traveled over 25,000 miles across the U.S. in the 15 months leading up to the Libertarian Party National Convention in Atlanta and his nomination victory on May 30, 2004.