Zelda MackResearcher, 2005–2010

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Zelda Mack's research explored many fields including the weather, American history, the Civil War, and the realm of journalism. The latter culminated in a short illustrated presentation, entitled "Glory Days: The Rise of America's Great Newspapers and William Steinway's Love-Hate Relationship with Them." The talk, delivered at a Diary Project researcher meeting, featured a few famous editors of the day, such as the Bennetts (father and son) and Charles Dana.

Mack was interested in the ways in which William benefitted from his relations with the press, especially the promotion of his company and projects, despite his constant carping about being hounded by reporters. She also found that her research often turned up oddities such as the story behind Barnum & Bailey, which exposed the unsavory aspects of circuses, both past and present.

Mack is a native of New York City, where she graduated with a BA in English from Hunter College. She is a member of the honorary English society Sigma Tau Delta and Mensa International. After a self-described "checkered" career as a copywriter in retail advertising, chiefly with Macy's, Mack emigrated from the US to South Africa where she spent the next 40 years with international advertising agencies like Foote, Cone, and Belding. There she developed campaigns for Toyota and other organizations, including the Chamber of Mines, through which she explored Vaal Reefs, the world's deepest gold mine. She also spent a year working in Soweto as a fundraiser and PRO for Pumla, a daycare center for mentally handicapped children. Back in the USA since 2004, she is currently working on a biography of the "Champagne widows" based on a previous article for Winelands. She has written over 100 published articles and stories for International magazines including Ireland's Own, Habitat, and most recently for BBC Wildlife.