• Susannah Colt

AT LONG LAST - the biography is finished

After three years of work and research, I am proud to announce the completion of my father’s biography, a 400-page opus covering his life up to and including his tenure at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.

I have faithfully documented my father’s story in the form of your run of the mill, garden variety, biography. I assumed the role of researcher, collector of documents, organizer, and reporter of his life through letters, newspaper articles, official museum documents, and secondary sources. I’ve chosen to be the dispassionate story teller, sticking strictly to the facts as set forth in documents and records. I feel confident that I’ve gotten the story as accurate as possible and have not taken too many liberties with the facts. I enjoyed researching the history of the time and interspersing historical detail to set the scene for the reader.

My father’s life was not a run of the mill story, however. He grew up in turbulent times – the Great War, Prohibition, the roaring 20’s, the 19th Amendment, the Stock Market Crash and Depression, and WWII, to name a few. He also experienced technological innovations, including aviation, moving pictures, automobiles, telecommunications, etc., etc.

He was an adventurous soul, living vicariously through his books during his youth, jumping on the aviation bandwagon by joining the Marines and learning to fly in 1929, crossing the Atlantic on steamships several times, first as a scullion and then as a passenger, becoming an Anglophile and dressing the part, wooing women with his excellent dance skills, and getting into typical youthful trouble much to the displeasure of his parents.

When he finally settled in Virginia in a very roundabout way, he discovered his experience as an art dealer for two years in New York City enabled him to get his foot in the door of the Virginia art scene, paving the way to a career that would sustain him for 40 years. The road was full of twists and turns encountering serious resistance before he become the first director of the first state-owned museum in the United States at the age of 30 (also the youngest director of the youngest major museum in the country).

What I have learned about my father is that he was not perfect but his determination, drive and forthrightness powered him through some very difficult times and he grew into a very successful, almost superhuman, professional in the museum world. He has become a hero to me, considering the obstacles he had to overcome to get where he landed.

Back cover of the biography, endorsement by VMFA.


During the course of my research I was fortunate to discover a collection of the letters my father wrote during World War II. He took a leave of absence from the museum to serve his country in the war. I have created a companion book to the biography, which is 253 pages long, that includes the 160 letters he wrote to his wife, Belle, from July 1942 to July 1945. It is a captivating narrative of his experiences during the war from retraining as an aviator, developing and running a Gunnery and Bombardier School, to serving in the Pacific Arena, including his final month on Iwo Jima as Operations Officer against the relentless Japanese.


If this little teaser about the books interest you and you want to purchase one or both, I’m taking orders through my website. The biography costs $24.95 and the war letters costs $19.95. If you buy both together, it’ll only cost $40.00. Add $4.00 to cover cost for shipping and handling.

Please go to the Contact Page ( www.susannahcoltwriter.com/contact ) and send me a message.

Once I determine the level of interest, I will proceed with a second printing and will inform all those who are interested how to purchase the book/s. I appreciate your patience as I learn the ins and outs of promoting and selling as a self-publisher.


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