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Susan E.B. Schwartz


JFK's Secret Doctor
Shortlisted at Banff, the leading adventure book competition "on the planet"

The kind of  inspiring , true story we badly need now. 

The life of Hans Kraus, fearless visionary with a jaw dropping double life in the  mountains and medicine

 (Skyhorse Publishing)

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Hi, I'm Susan

My goal when I write is to make you laugh, cry, and help survive long flights when stuck middle seat in coach. 

The adage in writing: write what you know. . . even if my subject unlikely for the classic nerdy kid and a top ranked New York girl chess player before entering Harvard. 


Afterwards, I discovered the outdoors and a world I hadn’t known existed growing up in suburb-iana – where sofa cushions wore thick zippered plastic covers (then covered with cloth remnants, as in what? to protect the plastic?).

I hadn’t planned to become a North Atlantic shipwreck dive master and ice and rock climber (before indoor climbing walls, when less sport/more lifestyle). I'm not  a thrill seeker, but I was thrilled to discover experiences and emotions I had never imagined existed. It was why I started writing . . . as a way to share this with others.  

I’ve been interviewed on front pages of major media like the New York Times and the Boston Globe, Emmy talkshows, NPR, and named Partner to the President’s Council on Physical Fitness. My writing has appeared in leading outdoor and climbing media, starting with my first article sent cold to Climbing. Three days later, the Managing Editor called to say it was accepted, and could I keep writing for him? Later, a feature article led to my first book, JFK's Secret Doctor. 

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Previous Events

I’ve given acclaimed book events and interviews across the U.S. to help spread the word about JFK’s Secret Doctor and the inspiring life of its subject, Dr. Hans Kraus. Often asked back at the same venue, a shortlist includes:


  • 50th Anniversary Meeting, the President’s Council on Physical Fitness, Washington, DC

  • Patagonia stores across the U.S. 

  • Various Harvard Clubs

  • LL Bean Flagship store, Freeport, ME

  • Chelsea Piers

  • REI stores

  • Eastern Mountain Sports stores

  • Outdoor Retailer (industry’s leading expo and convention), Denver CO

  • Stamford Hospital, Stamford Ct. (Columbia University teaching facility )

  • Major libraries, including Greenwich, CT and Vail, CO

  • Leading luxury hotels including Mohonk Mountain House, New Paltz, NY, Vail Four Seasons, Snowbird, UT, and Mt Washington Resort, NH

  • Various YMCAs and JCCs

  • Leading climbing shops across the U.S.

  • Leading climbing walls across the U.S.

  • Local community centers and book club events

Some Thrilling Experiences Along the Way

 Le                                Learning to:  figure out what to do when dive lights gave out, solo on a wreck, 0 visibility/100 feet down . . . deal with

deal                              frostbite and copperhead bites (surprisingly similar). . . safely get a panicked student shipwreck diver to the surface  . . .

                                      get through a multi-pitch ice climb after my partner cut our rope with his ice axe . . . skateboard on the streets of Brooklyn

                                      after the birth of my daughter. . . surf at an age when most considering Social Security

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