John Christiansen grew up in Waltham, Massachusetts. He attended the University of Maine and got a chemical engineering degree. He then went to Northwestern University and got a degree in theater arts. He was a pilot in the Army, then spent most of his life as a chemical sales person for a variety of chemical coating companies. He maintained an interest in history all of his life, and kept up a family tradition with his wife by reading children’s books to her at night.
—Interviewed by Pietra, Owen, and Lily

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