Next time you drive past Fabyan Forest Preserve or Fabyan Villa, give a little knowing nod to the extraordinary history that's part of our everyday scenery.
And if you want that knowing nod to be heavy with the weight of backstory, you can now read the book about the man Fortune Magazine ranked among history’s top 10 most interesting millionaires.
The first biography of George Fabyan examines the Gilded Age tycoon who launched the top-secret National Security Agency and changed the way we wage wars and keep secrets, how we transmit sound and design buildings, and how we stimulate scientific advances.
Colonel Fabyan and his Riverbank Laboratories along the Fox River housed U.S. cryptography during World War I, broke German codes, and captured foreign terrorists. They also designed the acoustics for major auditoriums and created the tuning forks that synchronized long-distance communications. He received the French Medal of Honor, Japan’s Order of the Rising Sun, as well as commendations from the U.S. government.
The biography, written by Richard Munson, reveals how the cotton tycoon inspired a “community of thinkers” who advanced science in such diverse fields as acoustics, cryptography, genetics, and physiology. Yet the whimsical Fabyan also constructed a levitation machine that tried to defy gravity, and he spent millions “proving” Sir Francis Bacon wrote Shakespeare’s plays.
The book, published by CreateSpace, is available from Amazon.
Richard Munson is the author of From Edison to Enron, a history of the electricity industry; The Cardinals of Capitol Hill, a behind-the-scenes look at congressional appropriators; and Cousteau: The Captain and His World, a biography of the undersea explorer.
SOURCE: Dick Munson press releases