Jack Crager was born and raised in Canyon, a Podunk town in the Texas Panhandle [a great place to be from]. Son of a math teacher and a jazz trumpeter, he was good enough at math but more intrigued by music. He discovered a life-long love of running in ninth grade when he became a miler. Another fond memory was playing Jesus in a high-school production of Godspell [a difficult role to emulate offstage].
Upon graduation Crager enrolled in electrical engineering at Texas A&M University — but showed little aptitude for either engineering or Aggiedom and transferred to the University of Texas at Austin. There he took up journalism, working at The Daily Texan and UTmost magazine, and graduated with Special Honors in English & Journalism [and served time in the Austin food-service industry].
After a stint traveling abroad, Crager started a newspaper career at the Williamson County Sun and was promoted to editor. There he developed management, writing, editing, design, and production skills for an award-winning paper. But the Big City beckoned, and in 1991 he packed his dog, guitar, books, and other possessions into his Honda Civic and drove north to New York City in search of magazine work.
Crager’s traveling companion was his loyal mutt Bro. Through pet-sitting arrangements, Bro linked Crager with Vivian Gill, who turned out to be his soulmate and later became his wife. Crager found employment at the Brooklyn Paper, where he forged a work ethic in the hot oven of NYC community journalism [and all-nighter deadlines].
Crager’s entrée into the magazine field was Graphis, international journal of design and visual communication, where he was hired in 1993 as assistant editor. Soon after, his boss quit and the editorship fell in Crager’s lap. He ran the publication for more than four years, covering top creative pros in design, photography and visual arts. He also recorded original music with the Podunks — a loose affiliation of musical friends — and began running marathons in New York, Boston, and other locales [14 and counting].
In 1997 Crager became managing editor of American Photo, helping to run the magazine’s editorial production and writing extensively about photography, culture, music and related subjects. In 2001 he married Vivian and they had a daughter, Julia [now a gifted artist]. The family is settled with their loyal mutt Bella on Manhattan’s Upper West Side.
Crager became a freelance journalist in 2008, serving as a writer, editor, project manager and various combinations. His client list includes Popular Photography, American Photo, Graphis, Metropolis, New York Road Runners, Time Out New York, Voxnovus, PDN, Rangefinder and others. He’s ready, willing and able for freelance assignments.