Kerry Altenbernd was raised on his family's farm near Lawrence, Kansas. Kerry has been performing first-person interpretations of the controversial abolitionist John Brown since 2006, utilizing his lifelong interest in American history.
Shy by nature, Kerry’s thirst for justice lead him to get involved in community activism, where he honed his public speaking skills. Kerry has fought to implement stop lights at dangerous intersections, served on school boards, and was the driving force in preserving the Black Jack Battlefield, securing its designation as a National Historic Landmark.
Kerry’s many awards include the 2013 "Kansas’ Finest” award by Kansas! Magazine, the 2015 "Most Valuable Partner Award" for Freedom's Frontier National Heritage Area, and coming in second in the “Best Beard in Kansas” competition (beer cans were thrown in protest: everyone thought Kerry should have won!). The father of two stellar grown children, Kerry enjoys traveling, reading history, watching classic movies, reading history, and reading history.
Kerry graduated from the University of Kansas with two bachelor degrees (in Geology and Environmental Studies) and received his Master of Library Science from Emporia State University. He served as Douglas County, Kansas, Law Librarian from 2002-2017. Now “at liberty,” Kerry portrays John Brown full-time at schools, civic organizations and historic events around the USA and Canada.
JohnBrownSpeaks AT gmail DOT com