Judy Pearson’s career began in a tree: a wonderful old maple in her parents’ backyard, with a perfect branch on which to sit and write. Now hundreds of thousands of words later, this Michigan native’s voice is still inspiring! She is a best-selling author, an accomplished presenter, and a graduate of Michigan State University. But her favorite title is “story teller.”
Always a fan of history, Judy’s first books told of ordinary people who became extraordinary heroes during World War II. The first, Belly of the Beast: A POW’s True Story of Faith, Courage and Survival, recounts the saga of an American naval corpsman taken prisoner in the Philippines at the outset of the war in the Pacific.
Next came The Wolves at the Door: The True Story of America’s Greatest Female Spy, the first book to tell the story of the amazing Virginia Hall. Traveling to Britain and France for research, it was her fluency in French that enabled her to interview men who had been a part of Virginia’s espionage circuit. It is not only a best-seller, but has been purchased for a movie.
A diagnosis of Triple Negative Breast Cancer interrupted Judy’s career as an author, although she created an anthology of the articles and blogs she wrote during her cancer experience. It’s Just Hair: 20 Essential Life Lessons won a 2012 International Book Award. Believing there is always treasure in life’s wreckage, cancer inspired Judy to found A 2nd Act, a nonprofit that supports and celebrates women survivors of all cancers who are giving back to the greater good.
And A 2nd Act led to the topic of her next book. From Shadows to Life: A Biography of the Cancer Survivorship Movement will debut on March 2, 2021, already receiving wonderful advance praise. During her research for that book, the amazing Mary Lasker came to light and became the subject of her current work in progress.
Honored in Washington, DC, by the American Association of Cancer Research and featured in their National Cancer Research Progress Report, Judy was also selected to be a part of their Survivor to Scientist program. In addition, she is a member of the American Association of University Women, Biographers International Organization, the Cancer Collaboration of Arizona, and the Survivorship/Quality of Life committee for the Arizona Comprehensive Cancer Control Program. She is a founding board member of Arizona Women for the Arts and a past board member of the Michigan State University Alumni Association.
Judy was named one of Chicago’s Most Inspirational Women, was selected as a finalist for the Arizona Healthcare Leadership Awards and named a Phoenix Healthcare Hero the same year. She and her husband, David, live at the base of the Phoenix Mountain Preserve, loving life and making one another laugh every day.