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Lake Geneva Chiropractic


Jane Jordan Browne

Died: Thursday, February 27, 2003
Age: 71
Jane Jordan Browne, 71, a Linn Township summer resident who was known in private life as Jane Browne Petersen after her marriage in 1978 to now retired Chicago attorney William O. Petersen, died Thursday, Feb. 27, 2003 at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Chicago, after a brief illness.

She was a Chicago-based literary agent and representative of many top writers. She had a career in publishing that spanned nearly 50 years.

In New York, she held editorial positions with Hawthorn Books and Thomas Y. Crowell, then in Los Angeles with LA Arts and Architecture Magazine, where she wrote the Architectural Digest Book of Celebrity Homes. In 1971, she established her own literary agency, Multimedia Product Development Inc., in Beverly Hills. The agency was moved to Chicago in 1978 when she married William Petersen.

From celebrity autobiographies to groundbreaking books on social issues, current affairs, science and psychology, she was passionate about the books she represented. After discovering a lost treasure trove of correspondence at the Southwest Museum, she was the first to revive interest in the works of American photographer Edward Sheriff Curtis, known best for his arresting portraits of Native Americans. The book, Edward Sheriff Curtis: Visions of a Vanishing Race, was produced in cooperation with the Curtis family and remains in print today, nearly 30 years after its first publication. Dedicated in her honor, it is considered the preeminent collection of Curtis images.

She was born in Los Angeles, was a graduate of Miss Hewitt's School in New York City, of Smith College where she was a Sophia Smith scholar, and of UCLA, where she received a master's degree Magna cum laude in English language and literature. She taught at the Marlborough School in Los Angeles before beginning her career in writing and publishing. She was a founding member of the Board of Directors of the Illinois Center for the Book, on the board of the Modern Poetry Association (the publisher of Poetry magazine), and a member of numerous publishing industry organizations.

She was a trustee of Jane Addams Hull House Association in Chicago. For the past several years, she worked on the proposed museum at the Black Point estate, which she owned with her husband. She loved the symphony, opera and the visual arts and was an avid gardener.

She is survived by her husband; and three brothers, Allen Gray Browne, Las Vegas, Dr. Harry Gray Browne, Reno, Nev. and Dr. Lawrence Walden Browne, Newport Beach, Calif.

Services and interment will be private in Grayville, Ill., a town founded by her mother's family in the 1830s. A gathering of friends is being planned for late April in Chicago.

The family suggested memorials to Jane Addams Hull House Association, 10 S. Riverside Plaza, Suite 1700 Chicago, Ill., 60606; or the Lake Geneva Fresh Air Association (Holiday Home Camp), P.O. Box 10, Williams Bay, 53191.

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