Mary Herczog was a second generation Angeleno, a UCLA alum, a reader, a writer, a veteran of the film industry, an MA, a doctoral student, a traveler and a breast cancer patient. She had jobs ranging from dog grooming to giving notes to Hollywood directors.
Mary went to grammar school, high school, college and grad school within a five minute drive of her house in West Los Angeles. Once she finally moved away--all the way to the east end of town!!--she made up for her previous limited mobility by traveling. A lot. She had been to more than 30 countries on four continents. Along the way, she started writing guidebooks for Frommer's, including Frommer's New Orleans, Frommer's Las Vegas, Los Angeles and Disneyland for Dummies, and wrote the first chapter on Bali for Frommer's Southeast Asia, plus writing for online sites about still more countries including Hungary and Morocco. She considered this a very swell job because she got to see interesting places and eat even more interesting food. She also read books and scripts for various movie production companies, and wrote freelance for a variety of publications (including at various times the Los Angeles Times, Rolling Stone, Rosie and a number of online sites) also swell jobs because she got to work at home in her pajamas. In September, 2007, her young adult novel, "Figures of Echo," was adapted into the Lifetime movie "Custody," starring Rob Morrow, James Denton and Kay Panabaker. This was a swell job because someone else did all the work, but Mary still got a screen credit.
For several years she pursued a doctorate in Philosophy of Religion and Theology specializing in the Process thought of Alfred North Whitehead and Charles Hartshorne. Lest that sound serious and brainy, she liked to point out that her dissertation was going to include a bunch of stuff about Quentin Tarantino. Although she never got to the dissertation, she was awarded her doctorate in a special ceremony at her home on February 13, 2010.
Mary was first diagnosed with breast cancer in fall, 1997, and dealt with on and off recurrences for more than 12 years until she passed away on February 16, 2010 at the age of 45.
Find out more about Mary on her tribute website CancerChick.com.