Peggy Adler

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Peggy Adler
Peggy Adler, June 7, 2015.jpg
Adler on June 7, 2015
Margaret Ann Adler

(1942-02-10) February 10, 1942 (age 77)
Occupation Author & illustrator of children's books; investigative researcher
Spouse(s) Jeremy Abbott Walsh (1962-68)
Richard Robohm (1976-93)
Partner(s) Harry Swaun (2006–)
Children Two daughters: Tenney Whedon Walsh and Avery Denison Walsh

Peggy Adler (born February 10, 1942) is an American author and illustrator of children's books and investigative researcher.[1] She is the daughter of Irving Adler and Ruth Adler and younger sister of Stephen L. Adler.

Early career

Adler began her professional career as an illustrator in 1958, at the age of 16, when she was co-illustrator of her father's book Weather In Your Life.[2] That same year, she was the sole illustrator of Hot and Cold.[3] She later illustrated the children's book Numbers Old and New,[4] as well as authoring and illustrating The Adler Book of Puzzles and Riddles;[5] and The Second Adler Book of Puzzles and Riddles.[6] Adler married in June 1962 and had two daughters before filing for divorce in early fall 1967.


For years to come, Adler continued working as an illustrator, with work published by the John Day Company, Little, Brown & Company, the Journal of Theoretical Biology, the Journal of Algebra, the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, World Scientific Publishing [7] the Bronx Zoo, and the Humane Society of the United States.[citation needed] In the mid-1970s Adler returned to writing as well as illustrating, when Franklin Watts published her book, Metric Puzzles,[8] followed shortly thereafter by Math Puzzles[9] and Geography Puzzles.[10] In 1976 Adler remarried and for a brief time, in the early 1990s, worked under the name of Peggy Adler Robohm.[11]

"Lioness & Her Cubs", "Geography Puzzles", written & illustrated by Peggy Adler.
"Hedgehogs Sledding", "Metric Puzzles", written & illustrated by Peggy Adler
Book Cover, "Sets and Numbers for the Very Young" Illustrations and Book Cover by Peggy Adler, 1969


In 1991, she was retained by self-proclaimed ex-CIA agent, arms dealer and money launderer, Richard Brenneke, to co-author his autobiography. Discovering evidence in his files contradicting claims regarding his presence at October Surprise conspiracy meetings, she contacted former CIA analyst-turned-journalist, Frank Snepp. This evidence was the basis of Snepp's February 1992 article for the Village Voice which outed Brenneke as a con artist.[12] Adler worked with Snepp on additional articles for the "Voice" which went on to prove that the so-called "October Surprise" was a hoax. Adler's work was also the subject of a chapter in Robert Parry's book, "Trick or Treason: The October Surprise Mystery" and she was interviewed by PBS' Frontline in this regard for an episode which aired in April 1992.[13] In mid-1992, learning that the House October Surprise Task Force was investigating whether or not there actually had been an October Surprise, she contacted investigative journalist and author Steven Emerson,[14] who put her in touch with the Task Force so that she could turn over to them the seventy cartons of documents she had hauled east from Brenneke's home in Portland, Oregon, in order to write his memoirs. Subsequently, she worked as a consultant to the Task Force,[11] and assisted in drafting and editing the Brenneke section of their final report.

In the mid-1990s, Adler divorced Robohm and resumed the use of her maiden name.

In 2000 and 2001, she was the researcher for journalist and author Ron Rosenbaum's articles about Yale's fabled Skull and Bones, which were published in The New York Observer.[15][16]

Community involvement

Adler is active in local affairs in Clinton, Connecticut, the town in which she lives.[17] In 2005 she filed a complaint with Clinton's Board of Ethics, stating that a first term selectman had violated his fiduciary duties as an elected official by voting in favor of the town's purchase of properties in his neighborhood for open space, when he had previously been a "member of a neighborhood group that vigorously opposed" a nearby development proposal. The Board of Ethics dismissed the complaint,[18] despite the fact that Adler was "never interviewed" and no witnesses were called. Adler later "said the Board of Ethics based its finding on a 'misinterpretation' of both the state law and the town's charter and subsequently, Town Counsel said that they had the final say over such matters and their decision would stand. Adler later sought, unsuccessfully, to have the Board's decision reviewed by Richard Blumenthal, who was Connecticut's Attorney General at the time. The Board of Selectmen responded to these outcomes by creating "a committee to review the town's code of ethics."[19][20] As a result, a new ethics ordinance was enacted by the Town of Clinton in November 2006, which became effective in January 2007.[21] This new ordinance was successfully implemented for the first time in early 2012.[22][23] Adler served as a Police Commissioner [24][25] in Clinton for eight years, having first been elected to that position in 2005. There, she has also served on the Design Review Board,[26] Historic District Commission,[26] and Charter Revision Commission.[27]

Intelligence work

In July 2000, the New England Chapter of the Association of Former Intelligence Officers held a meeting in Northampton, Massachusetts. Adler served as the program coordinator and kept careful track of the "comings and goings at the banquet room to prevent any 'crashers' to the luncheon". Describing the purpose of the association, Adler was quoted as saying, "A big part of what we try to do is to dispel the misconception that intelligence work is just like what they show in James Bond movies."[28] The meeting was attended by approximately 20 of the protestors, about whom Adler said, "It's their constitutional right",[28] so long as they pay to attend and dine at the luncheon for the same fee as the membership". In 2001, Adler was awarded the General Richard G. Stilwell Chairman’s Award by the Association of Former Intelligence Officers.[29]

Organizer & Host: 2015 Edgar Rice Burroughs Bibliophile' Convention

Adler spent over a year organizing the 2015 Edgar Rice Burroughs Bibliophiles' 2015 Convention (aka Dum Dum), which she then hosted, August 20–23, in her home town of Clinton, Connecticut.[30]

Members of Edgar Rice Burroughs (ERB) family, along with ERB comic strip writers & artists, authors of ERB related books; and Burroughs Bibliophiles came from all over North America to celebrate Burroughs’ genius.

A movie marathon; panel discussions; presentations; a “Comic Con” workshop for kids; a Tarzan yell competition [31](judged by members of ERB’s family); a video tribute to the late Denny Miller; an auction of ERB memorabilia; and vendors galore were there. And the public was invited – FOR FREE. The public could also dine at the Dum Dum banquet, at the Clinton Country Club—for the same fee as the Bibliophiles. There, the guest of honor and banquet speaker was Tony Award winner, William Berloni, talking about training animals for performance. And the 2015 Outstanding Achievement Award was given, posthumously, to Denny Miller, who in 1959 was the 12th motion picture Tarzan.

The Burroughs Bibliophiles is a nonprofit 501c(3) literary society, founded in 1960 ten years after Edgar Rice Burroughs death, which is devoted to his life, works and fictional characters. Burroughs is best known for his creation of “Tarzan” and “John Carter of Mars”—although he produced works in other genres as well. He has been openly acknowledged by Ray Bradbury, George Lucas and James Cameron, among others, as have greatly influenced their work.


In June 2017 Adler received the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award [32] for "career longevity and unwavering excellence in (her) chosen field(s)".


  1. ^ Bixby, Lyn (14 April 1992). "Research Draws Illustrator Into 'October Surprise' Intrigue". Hartford Courant. Retrieved 24 August 2011.
  2. ^ Adler, Irving (1959). Weather in your life. John Day Co. Retrieved 9 September 2011.
  3. ^ Adler, Irving (1959). Hot and cold. John Day Co. Retrieved 9 September 2011.
  4. ^ Adler, Irving; Adler, Ruth (1 January 1960). Numbers old and new. John Day Co. Retrieved 9 September 2011.
  5. ^ Adler, Irving; Adler, Peggy; Loyd, Samuel (1 June 1962). The Adler book of puzzles and riddles: or, Sam Loyd up-to-date. John Day Co. ISBN 978-0-381-99977-3. Retrieved 9 September 2011.
  6. ^ Adler, Peggy (June 1963). 2nd Adler Book of Puzzles and Riddles. Harpercollins. ISBN 978-0-381-99946-9. Retrieved 9 September 2011.
  7. ^ Adler, Irving. Solving the Riddle of Phyllotaxis: Why the Fibonacci Numbers and the Golden Ratio Occur On Plants. Retrieved 8 June 2012.
  8. ^ Adler, Peggy (September 1977). Metric Puzzles. Watts. ISBN 978-0-531-01295-6. Retrieved 9 September 2011.
  9. ^ Adler, Peggy (September 1978). Math puzzles. Watts. ISBN 978-0-531-02216-0. Retrieved 9 September 2011.
  10. ^ Adler, Peggy (August 1979). Geography puzzles. Watts. ISBN 978-0-531-02867-4. Retrieved 9 September 2011.
  11. ^ a b Peggy Adler employed as an Assistant Investigator by the U.S. House of Representatives' October Surprise Task Force (pdf)
  12. ^ Snepp, Frank. "October Surmise". Congressional Record (reprinted from Village Voice (25 February 1992). Retrieved 30 August 2011.
  13. ^ "Investigating the October Surprise". Frontline (PBS). 7 April 1992. Retrieved 30 August 2011.
  14. ^ Emerson, Steven (March 1993). "No October Surprise". American Journalism Review. Retrieved 9 September 2011.
  15. ^ Rosenbaum, Ron (17 July 2000). "I Stole the Head of Prescott Bush! More Scary Skull and Bones Tales". New York Observer. Retrieved 7 September 2011.
  16. ^ Rosenbaum, Ron (23 April 2001). "At Skull and Bones Secret Club Initiates Ream Gore". New York Observer. Retrieved 7 September 2011.
  17. ^ Fisher, Stan (14 December 2011). "Clinton selectmen reject a zoning approval challenge involving the Watts property". New Haven Register. Retrieved 16 December 2011.
  18. ^ Fisher, Stan (17 March 2005). "Clinton selectman prevails in conflict of interest complaint". New Haven Register. Archived from the original on 6 September 2012. Retrieved 19 December 2011.
  19. ^ Fisher, Stan (25 June 2005). "Town attorney upholds power of Ethics Board". New Haven Register. Archived from the original on 4 September 2012. Retrieved 19 December 2011.
  20. ^ Selectmen's Minutes of 5/11/2005 [1] Archived 2012-04-25 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved 12 September 2011
  21. ^ Clinton's new Code of Ethics [2] Retrieved 12 September 2011
  22. ^ "Board of Ethics Memorandum of Decision re: Cynthia Watts and Lisa MacDonald" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 16 April 2014. Retrieved 24 April 2012.
  23. ^ ""New Haven Register" Editorial re: Cynthia Watts and Lisa MacDonald". Retrieved 24 April 2012.
  24. ^ "Elected Officials - Clinton, CT". Retrieved 24 August 2011.
  25. ^ "Police Commission - Clinton Connecticut PD". Archived from the original on 2012-02-29. Retrieved 24 August 2011.
  26. ^ a b "Clinton Annual Town Report '04" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-09-28. Retrieved 2011-08-30.
  27. ^ "Charter Revision Commission". Archived from the original on 2011-09-28. Retrieved 2011-08-30.
  28. ^ a b Barry, Stephanie (23 July 2000). "Ex-secret agents, spy buffs gather". Sunday Republican. p. A14.
  29. ^ "Photographic Highlights of 2001 Symposium/Convention Events" (PDF). Periscope. Association of Former Intelligence Officers. XXIV (2): 6. Fall 2001. Retrieved 9 September 2011.
  30. ^ "Dum Dum Dossier".retrieved 29 August 2015
  31. ^ "Tarzan Yell Contest".retrieved 30 August 2015
  32. ^ "Marquis Who's Who Lifetime Achievement Award".retrieved 24 July 2017

External links

  • Peggy Adler Collection, Children's Literature Collections, University of Minnesota
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