Recognized worldwide as one of the nation's outstanding and most widely quoted authors on the Great Lakes, Jacques LesStrang authored six books dealing with international trade, maritime and political history, and U.S.-Canadian relations including the Book-of-the-Month Club selection, "Seaway." He began publishing the widely respected and internationally distributed maritime journal, Seaway Review, in 1969 and served as Editor-in-Chief for 24 years. He also served as CEO and Chairman of Harbor House Publishers, which he founded, until 1990. In addition, LesStrang published economic reports for the U.S. Congress and the Canadian Parliament and wrote the script for the 1993 PBS documentary, "Inward Passage." He was named "Maritime Writer of the Year" by the U.S. Propeller Club and "Great Lakes Man of the Year" by the governors of the eight Great Lakes states and premiers of the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec.
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In recent years, LesStrang served as the CEO of the LesStrang Group, a Christian publishing and marketing firm in Palm Desert, California. LesStrang was also the former president and creative director of an international advertising and marketing agency with offices in Michigan and London, England. He served as an international marketing consultant to the State of Michigan heading trade missions to Europe to generate business for the state. In addition, he managed a number of successful state and national political campaigns for congressional and gubernatorial candidates including former Michigan Governors William Milliken and George Romney. LesStrang's work on international marketing, government, and the maritime industry has been published in 16 languages.
Born in Pittsburgh, raised by his mother, Ada, and encouraged by his many aunts and uncles, LesStrang developed a lifelong love of literature and music, which he shared with his seven children and eleven grandchildren. LesStrang served in the Air Force in World War II and as a military journalist at Scott Field in St. Louis. He received degrees from George Washington University in Washington, DC (1948) and the University of Michigan (1951). He is a former member of Washington's National Press Club and is listed in Marquis' international edition of Who's Who in the World.
LesStrang is survived by his wife, Barbara LesStrang of Palm Desert, California; daughter Michelle (Rod) Cortright of Boyne City, Michigan; Diane Mathias of Palm Desert, California; Steve (Debbie) Marcks of Carlsbad, California; Paul (Patty) LesStrang of Ringle, Wisconsin; Linda (Evan) Keefer of Ridgefield, Connecticut; Dave (Elaine) LesStrang of Arlington, Virginia; and Christian LesStrang of San Francisco, California; eleven grandchildren; Sarah, Melissa, Susie, Melanie, Chelsea, Jonathan, Benjamin, Joshua, Michael, Basia, and Matthew; and one great-grandson, Samuel. His entire family joined with him in the last days of his life for a time of reflection, confirmation and joy.
Special thanks to Drew Story and Jo Healey for making this memorial possible.