Jerry Bellune, author and publisher
By John Temple Ligon Temple@TheColumbiaStar.com
South Carolina native Jerry Bellune recently published
his own book, Your
Life's Great Purpose, The book is 108 pages and is intended to help the reader find direction and purpose. The intent is reasonable and even noble. The challenge to Bellune is his commitment to sell 20 million copies to raise $200 million to help those with learning disabilities.
The $200 million will also be directed to help the illiterates in the U.S.A., where 42 million can't read and another 50 million can recognize only a few words.
Bellune was born in Greenville, S.C., where his father was an optometrist. Bellune's mother was the receptionist in her father's optometry office, and when her husband opened his own practice, she made the transition to the new office.
His sister lives and works in New York City, where she is an occupational therapist helping kids with learning difficulties.
Bellune stayed with the Greenville public schools until the tenth grade when he transferred to Baylor Military in Chattanooga, Tenn. Assuming discipline and direction were two major benefits from military school, Bellune actually enjoyed his two years at Baylor. He was the trainer for the football team, and he won the Senior Short Story Trophy.
In 1954, Bellune enrolled at USC but left after his second semester. Remembering how military school helped direct him toward productivity, Bellune volunteered for the military draft, which put him into the U.S. Army for two years, a positive time following the end of the Korean War. Bellune went to Korea, where he ran a supply warehouse.
Out of the military and back into civilian life, Bellune landed a journalism job with the Greenville News . He started as a copy editor, and he also started school again, this time at Furman University as an English major with a heavy dose of philosophy.Bellune found a summer job at the Charlotte
News. He took the job for the summer, but he stayed on full- time to gain a year's experience as a reporter.
In 1962, he went to work for The State, and in three months he was running their copy desk.
About the same time, MacLeod Hardy, Bellune's future wife, joined The State in a management training program. Bellune taught her his operation, and they married in 1964. Today they have two sons, one in Greenville, while the younger is the editor of Chronicle , where Lexington Bellune is the publisher and chairman.
Bellune and his bride moved to Yonkers, N.Y., so he could take a job with the Yonkers Herald Statio.Then there was a stint with the newspaper in Patterson, N.J., followed by running the Sunday edition of the Bergen Record in Hackensack, N.J.
Soon after newspaper giants Knight and Ridder merged, their Philadelphia Daily News hired Bellune as their city editor, even though he had never lived in Philadelphia.
Two years later, as the managing editor of Morning Call in Allentown, Penn., Bellune put together a graphics department and began their Sunday edition.At one point, he realized he had worked for five publishers in two years, to include time as a consultant instead of full- time employment as an editor.
In the early '80s, as a consultant, Bellune was coaching writers and editors while his wife was selling her time as a newspaper computer software expert. By 1984, they were ready for a return home, but they had to locate a newspaper property they could afford and one they could soon make profitable.
The Bellunes and a partner bought the Dispatch News and Lexington turned it around into profitability in 11 months. When their partner later died, the Dispatch News was sold.
The Bellunes took some out- of- town consulting contracts while they organized their business plan to start a new paper, the Lexington Chron,ic lein direct competition with the Dispatch. N ewTs he Chronicle rolled out in Lexington October '92, and the Bellunes ended up taking over the Dispatc.h N ews
Bellune retired at the end of 2006, and by January 2007, he had started a publishing company. At the same time he began a weekly email missive, Strategies , which Success became his book, Your Life's . Great Purpose