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Home > Teen Authors > Judith Fitzgerald

Judith Fitzgerald

Photo of Judith FitzgeraldJudith Fitzgerald is an award-winning editor, graphic designer, and book designer who focuses her work on religions from around the world. Based in southern Indiana, and working with her husband, Michael, they published the first in an award-winning series of illustrated inspirational books on the world’s religions, called the “Sacred Worlds” series. This series of books has won over ten prestigious awards with titles such as Indian Spirit, The Spirit of Indian Women, Christian Spirit, The Sermon of All Creation, and The Universal Spirit of Islam. Many of the photographs in this series, and in her husband’s other books, were taken by Judith during their travels to visit traditional cultures around the world.

Judith was born in Richmond, Indiana, and when she was 11 years old moved to Cleveland, Ohio. There she met people from different backgrounds, religions, and cultures and became fascinated by the diversity of traditions. She attended college at Indiana University in Bloomington where she met her husband, Michael, who conveyed to her his great love of the American Indians. Judith received a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education and was a first grade teacher in Brown County, Indiana. She incorporated her love of American Indians into her teaching and visited other classrooms especially during Thanksgiving time when she made presentations about American Indian artifacts, including clothing, jewelry, and weapons. Mrs. Fitzgerald retired from teaching a few days before giving birth to her son, Joseph, in 1977. Being a mother taught her the depth of responsibility for her son’s development and her role as the guardian of her son’s young mind. As a mother, she had to discriminate for him and help him choose books which would have a positive effect on his moral and spiritual development. She has remained passionate about her concern for quality education for children and her desire to expose children, teens, and adults to the traditions and religions of other cultures, especially the American Indians. Her books reflect her commitment to help others understand the beauty and sacred ways of the American Indian spirit. For many years, Judith was a stay-at-home Mother who continued to make crafts. She especially enjoyed making American Indian jewelry, beadwork, clothing, wood carvings, and wall hangings, as well as calligraphy from various cultures including Buddhist, Moorish, and Mandarin.

Judith attended her first Sun Dance in 1971 with her husband Michael, and every year since they have visited their Indian friends out West, except in 1977, the year their son was born. Each year they spend several weeks camping and seeing old friends. In 1972, Judith and Michael spent part of the summer living on the Crow Indian Reservation with Thomas Yellowtail, one of the most honored American Indian leaders of the twentieth century, and his wife, Susie Yellowtail. Eventually both of the Fitzgeralds were adopted into his family, and became members of the Crow tribe. In 1975 the Yellowtails made the first of a series of annual October visits to the Fitzgerald home in Bloomington, Indiana.

Judith and Michael Fitzgerald have spent extended periods of time over a period of more than thirty-five years visiting traditional cultures and attending sacred ceremonies throughout the American West, including the sacred rites of the Crow, Sioux, Cheyenne, Shoshone, Bannock, and Apache Tribes. They have also spent extended periods of time in traditional Buddhist, Hindu, and Islamic cultures. It is through their travels that they gain inspiration for their books. These trips have helped Judith artistically and have provided her with concrete ideas and photos for her books. All royalties for Judith Fitzgerald’s books on American Indians are donated to various American Indian charities, including The American Indian College Fund, the Smithsonian’s Museum of the American Indian, for support of Crow, Shoshone, and Lakota Sun Dances, and to provide books and films to tribal colleges and high schools located on Indian reservations throughout the US and Canada.

At home in Bloomington, Judith and Michael spend their time surrounded by their children and grandchildren, who are at the root of their desire to produce quality books for children and young adults. Judith is currently working on a book of American Indian inspirational quotes for children.

Judith’s books include:

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