Dean Karayanis was born a day after Theodore Roosevelt, but the same day as Hillary Rodham Clinton and the shootout at the OK Corral. An avid animal lover, Dean earned an Animal Science degree from Rutgers University. He was attracted to his state university because it’s one of the nation’s oldest. General George Washington headquartered near the New Brunswick campus, and a church in town hosted one of the first public readings of the Declaration of Independence.
Rutgers is also home to the second-oldest collegiate newspaper, The Daily Targum, which provided a great opportunity for writing. But veterinary medicine left little time for anything so regular as a column, and newsrooms tend to frown on people who smell like the pigsty or arrive to work on a horse.
Dean graduated from the farms of Rutgers to a series of veterinary positions, including at Manhattan’s prestigious Animal Medical Center. Between flea baths, spays, and the occasional gunshot wound (the unofficial, “Welcome to New York City,” for rural internists) he continued to pursue writing opportunities and read a ton of history. Perhaps his favorite patient was a rabbit belonging to the Shah of Iran’s daughter, a rare confluence of his passions.
After years in medicine, Dean dedicated himself to writing full time, working with the people inside the radio, television and Internet boxes. His resume includes a stint working for President Bill Clinton’s White House political adviser, writing and appearing in comedy opens on Rush Limbaugh the Television Show, web production, and authoring a travel adventure, Regional Greek Cooking with his wife — the daughter of a history teacher in Canada. He’s had one literary agent die and another retire, but continues to work on novels of historical fiction.
Dean’s favorite historical figures are William McKinley, Theodore Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, and anarchist Emma Goldman. As his mother was a child in London during the Blitz, he’s always been fascinated by the Battle of Britain.
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