Charlie Atherton was a two-fold son of Penn State. He was the son of Penn State president George W. Atherton and, as a member of the class of 1895, is reputed to be Penn State’s first star athlete. Charlie was also an accomplished musician, a world traveler, and a writer whose letters document with candor the early days of professional sports, the plight of soldiers and refugees during World War I, and the Nazi rise to power. This book contains his letters that not only provide an eye-witness account of events around the turn of the 20th century, but mirror the disposition of a generation maturing in a time of economic euphoria and political turmoil.
Mary Kuntz lives with her husband, Edward, and her mother, Mary Frances Buckhout McVay, in rural Western Massachusetts. As a writer and educator she became interested in writing non-fiction after discovering the educational legacy left by her great-grandfather, George Washington Atherton. Her search through family attics and drawers yielded letters and diaries that had been carefully preserved since their writing, opening the door to a family history hitherto unexplored.
Mary is a member of the Penn State Alumni Association and a frequent visitor to State College, where some of the family still resides. She is presently working on a complete biography of George Atherton, 7th president of The Pennsylvania State University. She is an avid collector of oral histories and has published over twenty both from her family and western Massachusetts residents.