James Quinlan
1934 - 2020
Quinlan, James
May 1, 1934 - Mar 29, 2020
James Maurice Quinlan, age 85, journalist, screenwriter, author, pilot and longtime resident of Bradenton died Sunday March 29, 2020. Jim was born in St. Louis, Missouri on May 1, 1934 to Maurice and Helen Quinlan. He had one older sister Patricia. He moved with his family to Chicago where he attended Fenwick High School and boxed in the Chicago Golden Gloves. Jim attended Loyola University in Chicago and graduated with a degree in Philosophy in 1957. He married Maureen Walsh in 1959 and they had four children: Timothy (Maria nee Rochelle), Margaret (Myron) Marcinkowski, Kyran (Maura nee Parker) and Winifred (Anthony) Hogue. Jim also had nine grandchildren and one great grandson.
After moving his family to southeast Florida in 1969, he found his calling as a writer. He was hired first by the Palm Beach Times and then the Palm Beach Post where he had a successful career especially with his human interest column, where he celebrated ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances. He rose to become City Editor of the paper. Later in his career he wrote for the Albuquerque Journal where he won the E. H. Shaeffer Award for an expose on Native Americans in Truchas, New Mexico. He also wrote for the Philadelphia Daily News, Chicago Sun-Times and the Sarasota Herald-Tribune. He is the author of two books; "Spying on Fishback" and "The Trout Snout Caper."
Jim's best known writing work was the screenplay and story for "Michael" which became a major motion picture released in 1996 starring John Travolta, William Hurt and Andie MacDowell. The story was inspired by his unique experience working for 2 years as a writer for the National Enquirer in the 1970s.
For the past 30 years he has lived in Bradenton with his second wife Connie. In his retirement, he enjoyed visits from his family, flying his Cessna 150C, and smoking his pipe.
Catholic mass and celebration of his life will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Humane Society of Manatee County (humanemanatee.org).
Published by Herald Tribune from Apr. 2 to Apr. 3, 2020.
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3 Entries
I truly enjoyed working with Jim in the Manatee/AM Bureau of the Herald-Tribune. His sense of humor was amazing and would always make me laugh! Oh, and I cannot forget his Key Lime Pie! Yummy. Homemade limes from his prized key lime tree. Sincere condolences, Mel
April 10, 2020
Jim Quinlan was one of the people who made The Palm Beach Post such a great place to practice journalism in the 1970s and '80s. He was a talented writer, an outstanding city editor, a caring mentor and an all-around great human being. My warmest personal memories of Jim will always include our pickup basketball games under the lights at Howard Park. He never missed the open man.
Tom Kelly
April 8, 2020
Tom Kelly
April 8, 2020
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