In 1995, John won the O. Henry Pun-Off World Championship. It is his first and only world title.
A former Presidential Speechwriter for Bill Clinton, John Pollack has a gift for translating complex ideas into simple, concise and compelling language. "Clear writing requires clear thinking," he said. "Until an idea has been articulated well it doesn’t really exist in any meaningful way."
One of four people who launched ROI Communication in 2001, John has spent the past decade in the private sector advising Fortune 500 executives and leading philanthropies on communication strategy and messaging. Prior to his tenure with ROI Communication, John worked at the White House and on Capitol Hill, where he was the speechwriter for House Democratic Whip David Bonior. John credits his keen ear to his early training as a violinist, and developed his communications skills from extensive campaign experience and work as a journalist, both in the United States and abroad. He once worked on scientific expeditions in Africa and Antarctica, and has traveled extensively on seven continents.
John is a graduate of Stanford University, and began his writing career as a newspaper reporter in Connecticut. Later, he spent three years in Madrid, Spain as a foreign correspondent, covering everything from business to bullfights for media that included The Associated Press, the Los Angeles Times, USA Today and Advertising Age. He speaks fluent Spanish. His first book, The World On a String: How to Become a Freelance Foreign Correspondent, grew out of that experience.
In 2004, he published Cork Boat, the true story of his successful quest to build a 22-foot Viking ship made almost entirely of wine corks and its 2002 voyage down Portugal’s Douro River. John’s most recent book is The Pun Also Rises: How the Humble Pun Revolutionized Language, Changed History, and Made Wordplay More Than Some Antics. He lives in New York City.