|Poage Library | JFK - Edward T. Haslam Collection
Ed Haslam, the author of "Dr. Mary's Monkey," was born in Kansas where his family had lived for several generations. His grandparents were the schoolteachers and country doctors of the prairie. Shortly after his birth in 1951, his father (who had just returned from Harvard University and the U.S. Navy) accepted a teaching position at Tulane Medical School in New Orleans. During the next 35 years that Ed Haslam lived in New Orleans, he personally heard and saw things that involved the investigation into the Kennedy Assassination, the murder of one of his father's colleagues, and claims of biological weapons to be used for political purposes. Haslam's 1969 comment, "If there is a bizarre global epidemic involving cancer and a monkey virus thirty years from now, at least we'll know where it came from" states his concerns clearly.
Haslam's education was that of a well-placed New Orleans male. He attended Jesuit High School in the late-1960s. The background event of these years was Jim Garrison's investigation into the JFK assassination. Haslam had teachers, classmates and friends whose family members were involved in the case in one way or another. This experience gave him an "insider perspective" of these events.
As the U.S. flag-bearer for Jesuit's U.S. Marine Corps JROTC unit, he marched in many Mardi Gras parades and developed an interest in the "parade beat" music of this unusual city – an interest he was to pursue. After graduating from the demanding agenda of Jesuit High School, he studied Art History at Tulane University and further developed his interest in music and writing.
For most of the 1970s, Haslam worked with the legendary piano player Professor Longhair, considered by many to the one of the Founding Fathers of Rock-and-Roll for his contributions to the style in the 1940s. In 1975, ex-Beatle Paul McCartney visited New Orleans to honor Professor Longhair and wrote the song "Rock Show" to commemorate his visit to Longhair's concert which Haslam produced. When Longhair died in 1980, Haslam got out of the music business to pursue a career in advertising. There he was able to use his creative, musical, art and writing skills as a Creative Director. His radio campaigns for Tabasco Pepper Sauce and his work for The Treasures of the Vatican art exhibit at the World's Fair in New Orleans recall this period. It was during this time that he stumbled upon hard evidence connecting people involved in the JFK assassination investigation to the medical community in New Orleans. But the time was not right to speak out.
In the 1980s Haslam's advertising career took him to Detroit where he managed advertising campaigns for the Chrysler Corporation – and where he made presentations to then-Chairman Lee Iacocca. In his word's, "I went from Professor Longhair to Lee Iacocca in 8 years." Chrysler's flag-waving "America's Winners" campaign, which aired on the 1988 Olympic coverage, is his best known work from the Chrysler years. For the next four years in Detroit, he managed the advertising for several divisions of Rockwell International and later the Michigan State Lottery, one of the largest state lotteries in America.
In his final days in Detroit, as the AIDS epidemic fixed itself upon the media landscape, Haslam started questioning what he had seen and heard in New Orleans. He began work on a research project known as "Mary, Ferrie & the Monkey Virus: The Story of an Underground Medical Laboratory."
Today, Ed Haslam lives in Florida. (Note: he is not the "Edward T. Haslam" associated with the CONCORD company, has never been a CFO, and has never lived in Tennessee.)
Biographical sketch provided by the Poage Legislative Library. Visit their Ed Haslam Collection homepage for more information.