John B. Manbeck

John B. Manbeck (Photo: Guisinger )

John B. Manbeck

Manbeck taught English and Journalism at Kingsborough Community College in Brooklyn for 32 years. Prior to that, he received a Fulbright Teaching Grant to Helsinki University, Finland, where he taught English Philology for two years.

Before his university teaching, he taught English in New York City secondary schools and worked for the American Broadcasting Company.

He is a graduate of Bucknell and New York universities.

Currently, he lives in Brooklyn and East Stroudsburg, PA.

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Author and/​or editor of nine books on Brooklyn, New York, its history, culture, and people and contributor to other books, publications and mixed media. Official Brooklyn Borough Historian appointed by Borough President Howard Golden from 1993 until 2002. He has held several city and state appointed positions and serves on advisory and foundation boards. In 1999, he was named a Centennial Historian of the Year. From 1972 until 1999, he was founder/​archivist/​director of the Kingsborough Historical Society.

His weekly column, "Historically Speaking," appeared in "The Brooklyn Daily Eagle" in print and on line (manbeck@​ from 2003 until 2012. It deals with Brooklyn neighborhoods, historical events, individuals and places. His latest book, "Chronicles of Historic Brooklyn," is a collection from those years.

In addition to his writings, he has appeared in television, radio, and podcast documentaries about Brooklyn and has spoken at the Smithsonian Institution about Coney Island. Manbeck has been giving talks on Brooklyn subjects for the New York Council for the Humanities for over 20 years.

He is a member of the Kingsborough Community College Foundation board and former member of the advisory board of the Wyckoff Homestead, and the board of Friends of Thirteen (PBS).

In his spare time, he is working on his new Brooklyn Heights Crime Series novellas, a memoir and a profile of historic Coney Island.

Selected Reviews

Crime fiction novella
Fiction: crime mystery
"If you're a fan of historical fiction, local Brooklyn history, crime fiction or all three, check out John Manbeck's 'The Skeleton in the Attic' as well as the previous installments"- Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Murder in a Brooklyn Heights men's hotel in 1930.
Essays that reveal the history and spirit of this ever-growing metropolis. "A true love letter to Brooklyn"- former Borough President Marty Markowitz; "...enlightening and engaging anthology"- Sam Roberts, NY Times
"readable and rewarding"- Henrik Krogius, Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Fiction: crime mystery
Short fictional crime stories with historic Brooklyn background. "...a good read for all those who like old-fashioned detective and crime fiction." Brooklyn Daily Eagle
"surprising rewards" The New Yorker; "charming and highly accessible form"- The NY Times Book Review; "excellent guide to the visual delights and human landscape"- NY Daily News; "a delightful tour"- Modern Maturity
"a resonant collection" The New York Times; "another beautiful entry" SoHo Journal
Non-fiction, history, photographs
Historic photos of building the bridge and after
Non-fiction, essays