- Tributes to Stan Schab
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With the possible exceptions of my wife and son, I have spent more time with Stan Schab than any other human being. He became the one full-time employee of the Center for Biographical Research at almost the same time that I became editor of Biography, in 1994, and after I became Director of the Center in 1997, we occupied the same office space for the next nineteen years. I therefore have some sense of what he has meant to Biography, and to the field of life writing.
Though listed over the years as Assistant, Associate, and then Managing Editor, what Stan has actually done for Biography is everything. He and I worked on eighty-eight issues together, and as we rethought and revamped every aspect of the journal, Stan was the one who implemented and then maintained that work, sometimes for decades.
We became very proactive in seeking books for review; Stan routinely checked all the press catalogs, and requested copies before the publication dates. We changed the cover, the typeface, and all the formatting; Stan turned our decisions into templates. We became far more engaged with copyediting and proofreading; in time, Stan became the principal editor, and also the institutional memory for our house rules. And when the journal began to appear on Project Muse, Stan worked with the University of Hawai‘i Press to make sure that our camera-ready copies were online-ready as well.
Above all, when we decided that the Annual Bibliography of Works about Life Writing needed to be far more comprehensive, once our search procedures were in place, Stan throughout the years steadily assembled the list of books, edited collections, special issues, individual articles, and dissertations [End Page ix] that would make up the bibliography, annotating each entry on the go. For this reason, I can say with some confidence that Stan knows the field of life writing better than anyone.
Stan was no less indispensable as the Center increased its activities and public outreach. When we upgraded the publicity for the Brown Bag Biography lecture series, Stan designed the flyers and sent out the notices each week. When we began producing television documentaries, Stan kept track of the funds, and worked with the coproducers and the contractors. We published eight books and edited collections through the Biography Monograph series. Stan first edited each manuscript, and then designed and prepared the camera-ready copies that went to the press. And as more and more scholars came to visit the Center—whether individually, or as participants in our special-issue symposia or in the IABA International Conference in 2008—Stan was the housing manager, flight advisor, principal scheduler, and fiscal officer.
Stan has the remarkable ability to work with almost anyone. He has been the point person for hundreds of authors and reviewers, the stabilizing certainty in the office that all four coeditors of Biography have depended upon, and an admired mentor for the editorial assistants we have employed over the years.
My wife often says to me, “Stan is a saint. You are not.” Stan is not a saint. He is however one of the most talented, dedicated, and fundamentally decent people I have ever known. I cannot imagine what my career would have been like without Stan’s constant support; in many important ways he has made it possible. There is no way that I can express what I owe to him, and I claim the right to say this for the field of life writing as well.
And one more thing—Stan hates these kinds of tributes, or being publicly thanked for anything. He did not know we planned this, but in this one instance, we will ignore his wishes. Thank you, Stan.
CYNTHIA G. FRANKLIN
It is impossible not to admire and respect Stan Schab, Biography journal’s Managing Editor from 1994–2016. It is almost equally impossible to acknowledge Stan’s extraordinary contributions formally, or to deliver thanks to Stan in any group or...