Author Steve Markoff Wins Best of Los Angeles Award for “The Case Against George W. Bush”
By STEVE GALLUZZO | Sports Editor
Palisadian Steve Markoff wears many hats but he added another feather in his cap with his new book “The Case Against George W. Bush,” which won a Best of Los Angeles Award for “Best Political Book of 2020.”
“It’s something to be proud of,” Markoff admitted. “This takes an incredible amount of work.”
Released in late October, the book chronicles the presidency of George W. Bush through almost 600 quotes from over 90 authors and other sources, including Bush himself, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, former Vice President Dick Cheney, former U.S. Senator Russ Feingold, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, and journalists like Steve Coll, Craig Unger and Bob Woodward.
The book’s foreword is written by Richard A. Clarke, a national security and counterterrorism expert under three presidents.
Markoff is donating 100 percent of the royalties from the book to the nonprofit National September 11 Memorial and Museum in New York City.
“Money hasn’t been a motivator, it’s more about providing some context and clarity because there are so many issues people can’t understand,” he said. “I’ve always been attracted to the law as it’s really logical. I’m one of those people who has the resources to put into these projects but I get angry at just how difficult it is to get real data. Liberals and conservatives look at the same information but come to different conclusions. You need to see both sides on an issue.”
Born in 1943, Markoff graduated from Los Angeles City College with an Associate of Arts degree in 1964. He was in the precious metals and numismatic business for 50 years (1954-2005).
He became chairman and CEO of A-Mark Financial Corporation, a Santa Monica-based financial services company he founded in 1965 that was originally named A-Mark Coin Company.
In 2004 he founded procon.org, a 501(c)(3) public charity promoting critical thinking that as of December 31, 2019, had been or is being used by over 10,000 schools in over 90 countries. The charity merged into Encyclopaedia Britannica in May.
Earlier this year, he launched secondamendment.org, a website that he designed to include many of the pieces of the puzzle that make up our individual rights to arms.
A meticulous researcher who knows how and where to get the facts, Markoff has been in business since he was 6 years old and joined the ACLU in 1980. He made a solo parachute jump from 2,800 feet in 1966 and was honorably discharged from the Army in 1970.
He has twice made it into the Guinness Book of World Records for purchasing rare coin collections. He joined the Sports Car Club of America in 1977 and began racing Formula Fords.
In 2013 he was inducted into the PNG Coin Dealers Hall of Fame. His hobbies include cars, archery, fly fishing, golf, ping pong, pool, scuba diving and, of course, reading.
A modern-day renaissance man, Markoff has traveled the world extensively, exploring every continent and visiting 105 countries (his favorite places are India, Papa New Guinea and Antarctica) and last summer, he traveled around the North Pole in a Russian nuclear-powered icebreaker. He calls his wife of 33 years Jadwiga—a retired Polish physician with a PhD in psychopharmacology (how drugs affect the brain)—“a brilliant travel agent.”
When they are not spanning the globe, Markoff and Jadwiga are enjoying life in the Rustic Canyon area of the Palisades. He bought a house on Sunset across the street from the entrance to Will Rogers State Historic Park in 1980 after surveying the area from a bird’s eye view.
“I was living in Bel Air for a year when I rented a helicopter and flew around West LA,” he recalled. “This whole area stands out like the Amazon. The next day, I left notes in people’s mailboxes. I got a call back from a woman two doors away whose mother was living here and she offered to sell it for $950,000, which was a lot of money back then.”
The gated property has plenty of tall trees and the couple have a variety of animals: 20 chickens, a guinea hen (an African bird with a head that, as Markoff described, “looks like it’s been crushed by a car”), two dogs (a bulldog Fred and a pit bull mix Sheila), and two cats, Sammy and Mimmy.
Markoff and Jadwiga also spend time at their log cabin in Bodfish in the southern Kern River Valley. His three children all went to Palisades High School: Chris (50), a shrimp fisherman in San Diego; Thomas (31); and newlywed Emily (30), a teacher in the San Fernando Valley.
Markoff has published numerous other articles and informational booklets, many dealing with various aspects of America’s drug policy. He is currently working on several other projects, including “The ACLU’s First 100 Years at the U.S. Supreme Court from 1920 to 2020,” a compendium of more than 1,175 ACLU cases at the Supreme Court (to be released in two different stand-alone formats in 2021) and “Official Anti-Jewish Acts Throughout History,” which he started researching in 2011 and hopes to have published by 2030.
“The Case Against George W. Bush” is available online at Barnes & Noble, Indiebound, Powells, Rare Bird and Amazon.
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