John Irvan Boslough | PostIndependent.com

John Irvan Boslough

Post IndependentGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado

John Irvan Boslough, author, former Denver Post reporter and much-traveled freelance writer, died at his home in Snowmass Village on Tuesday May 4 with his closest family and friends by his side.Boslough, 67, was diagnosed with gallbladder cancer eight months ago. He is survived by his widow, Susan; his two daughters Sophie, 17, and Jill; son-in-law Jack and grandchildren Damon, Drew, and Olivia of Carlsbad, CA; his brother Jim and wife Jeanie; children, Rebecca, Jameson, and Hayden of Billings, Montana; his sister-in-law, Carol, and her daughters, Ariel and Kyla of Boulder; in-laws, Ray and May Raehn of George West, Texas and brother in-law Paul and wife Linda of McLean, Virginia.His family celebrated Boslough’s life with a private family gathering. A memorial service for family and friends will be this summer, June 26, on the back of Aspen Mountain to coincide with the summer jazz festival.Boslough was a board member of the Aspen Writers Group since moving here seven years ago. He was a moderator at the Aspen Institute in 2004 and volunteered for many activities in the county.Boslough was born on June 18, 1942, in Charlotte, N.C., to Milton and Katherine Boslough. The Bosloughs later moved to Denver, CO.John and Susan were married on Sept. 23, 1989, at their home in McLean, VA. Later in 1993, their daughter Sophie was born.The Bosloughs visited their condominium in Aspen, Colo., frequently, and finally moved permanently to their home in Snowmass in 2003. The Boslough family has long roots in the Aspen area; Cooper Avenue in Aspen being named after John’s grandfather, Theodore Cooper. In fact, Theodore and his brother were the first to ever arrive in Aspen by car, which took 3 days from Denver. He hand built a cabin on the backside of Ajax Mountain where John wrote his first book. Boslough often skied Aspen Mountain and Snowmass Mountain, continuing to ski even after his diagnosis.Growing up, John rose to the Eagle Scout level in Boy Scout Troop 28 under the guidance of well-known scout leader Doc Chapman. His father in-law, Ray, was impressed having been an Eagle Scout also. He was a star athlete at East High School in Denver and set a state long-jump record in track and field in 1960. John also ran the 440-relay and the 100-yard-dash. John also played varsity football as a running back on the single-wing formation.Boslough was a graduate of Princeton University, earning honors in his major, history of science. He later attended Columbia University to study law and business. During his college years, Boslough worked as a logger, crab fisherman and construction manager in Alaska, for two years.John began his newspaper career as the sports editor at the Mountain Mail in Salida, CO. He subsequently was named editor of the paper. He returned to Denver to take a job with the Associated Press, which was headquartered in the old Denver Post building. He moved downstairs to the Post’s city room in 1973 to become a general assignment reporter.John also served the paper on the medical beat, breaking many stories about medical discoveries and research taking place at Front Range hospitals, universities and laboratories. His background in the study of medical science history made him a top-flight reporter in this field. He won countless journalism awards.The Post moved Boslough to its bureau in Washington in the late seventies, where he served as bureau chief for a period. Boslough covered Congress and the offices of Colorado’s elected delegation on Capitol Hill. He left the Post to become science editor at the magazine U.S. News & World Report.After several years at U.S. News, Boslough began a freelance journalism career, writing five books about issues in the sciences and contributing articles to numerous publications, including the Washington Post, National Geographic, Psychology Today, Smithsonian Magazine, Science 81, and Reader’s Digest.Boslough wrote “Beyond the Black Hole – Stephan Hawking’s Universe,” a 1985 biography of the famed scientist that was an international best-seller. He authored “Masters of Time – Cosmology at the End of Innocence” and “The Very First Light – The True Inside Story of the Scientific Journey Back to the Dawn of the University” with astrophysicist, John C. Mather. Boslough and his family attended ceremonies in Sweden when Mather received the Nobel Prize for physics in 2006.Boslough was the writer for a National Geographic coffee-table volume of words and photos entitled “America’s National Parks.” He was writing his first fiction novel at the time of his death.As a writer and explorer, Boslough traveled to every continent, except South America. National Geographic later sent Boslough to China in the early eighties. He was one of the first Western writers to visit and write about the mainland. Boslough liked telling the story of his “minders” and their upgrading his accommodations from a four cent a night hotel to a six cent a night hotel. One of the photos that hangs on his office wall pictures him floating in the air aboard a NASA aircraft (the “Vomit Comet”) with astronauts testing weightlessness. The magazine also sent Boslough to the Soviet Union and Bosnia-Herzegovina for stories.His widow Susan and daughter Sophie joined him on many of his travels around the world. In 2002, they took a memorable trip to South Africa, Boslough’s first to Africa south of Egypt. “Marvelous and eye opening,” he said. A male lion came within four feet of an open truck carrying them and their guides. The lion eyed the appetizing site, Boslough recounted, but decided against supper, walking off casually. “Scary,” Boslough said. In a short time, however, the Bosloughs were dining under the stars around linen-covered tables out in the bush, their guides on guard, armed to the hilt.Wherever he traveled to or lived, though, Boslough’s foremost thought was returning to Colorado.He relished skiing and climbing Colorado’s mountains. He reached the peaks of 32 of the states 54 mountains over 14,000 feet in elevation. He climbed Mount Princeton near Salida at least a dozen times, often with other Princeton graduates.Boslough rode numerous times in the Denver Post’s Ride the Rockies annual bicycle tour around Colorado. He climbed The Matterhorn in Switzerland, a winter climb of the Grand Teton in Wyoming, and Mount McKinley in Alaska.John’s memory lies within the rocks of the many mountains, around the world, and within the hearts of the many lives he touched which were many.


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