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The author of five previous novels—only two of which had been published—Mary Jane Ward was unprepared for the firestorm that surrounded The Snake Pit when it was released in 1946.
Jerry Seinfeld cites him as an influence, and named his third son after him. In his seminal text, Understanding Media , Marshall McLuhan tagged his work as innovative in its use of the medium of radio. But outside the context of the now-classic holiday flick A Christmas Story , the name Jean Shepherd may go unrecognized.
Holiday rituals around the country often include tuning in for the 1983 film A Christmas Story . Although it wasn’t a hit at the box office, the MGM feature has assumed its place alongside such holiday classics as Miracle on 34 th Street and It’s a Wonderful Life , thanks to an extended life on TV.