Russ Franzen is an award-winning writer and historian. He grew up in New Lenox, IL (Lincoln-Way High School ''73) and attended the University of Illinois and Southern Illinois University-Carbondale (BS ''83, Radio-TV Class of ''77). He worked in radio and television in Herrin, Marion, and Springfield, Illinois and Lapeer, Michigan before moving into the public sector. He spent nine years in the judicial system, serving as a Magistrate and Court Administrator, then went back to work in the news business as a newspaper columnist. He started writing songs to help teach history to children. His songs tell stories and histories of lighthouses, ships and life along the Great Lakes. He started performing the songs in 2006 and has one album, Along the Great Lakes (2007).
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