The first San Fernando Valley Award for Nonfiction, presented by the Delmar T. Oviatt Library at California State University, Northridge, has been given to author and longtime Valley public relations executive Martin M. Cooper.
Cooper received the honor for his book, “Read All About It! The Valley Times: 1946-1970.”
“The award was conceived by the Oviatt’s Friends of the Library to recognize important contributions to nonfiction writing about the San Fernando Valley, and to promote research and writing related to the region,” said Mark Stover, dean of the Oviatt Library.
“Historical research and retrospective journalism are the keys to unlocking the mysteries of the past,” Stover continued. “With his book, ‘Read All About It! The Valley Times: 1946-1970,’ Martin Cooper has created a marvelous work that will bring back memories for some of us and open up new vistas for others.”
Cooper will be honored at a special reception later this year.
“‘Read All About It!’ was originally conceived as an adjunct to the Los Angeles Public Library’s desire to raise funds to catalog and digitize its collection of 70,000 photographs from the now-defunct Valley Times newspaper,” he said.
Cooper took the opportunity to explore a truly eventful time period in the San Fernando Valley’s history — post-World War II migration to the cusp of the “Brady Bunch” era — and turned his findings into the book.
“The San Fernando Valley, with a population of almost 2 million people, has a colorful history and a bright future,” Stover said. “It has played an important role in the evolution of the city of Los Angeles and the surrounding region. Growth in the population, in industry and in the art and culture make the Valley a rich source of material for nonfiction literature. There are no other awards for books specifically about the San Fernando Valley, so it makes perfect sense for CSUN’s Oviatt Library, located at the largest university in the region, to honor writers and researchers with this prize.”
Cooper is donating his proceeds to the Boys & Girls Club of the West Valley, of which he is chair.
In addition to “Read All About It!,” Cooper has written four other books and more than 100 magazine articles, newspaper columns and essays. He is active in the community, having received a 2014 Fernando Award for his lifetime of volunteerism and philanthropy. He also teaches marketing, strategic planning and public relations at UCLA Extension, where he was named the extension’s Instructor of the Year in 2011.
The Oviatt Library is located at the center of the California State University, Northridge campus at 18111 Nordhoff St. in Northridge. The library serves as the main research facility in the San Fernando Valley. For more information about the library or its hours, visit its website at http://library.csun.edu or call (818) 677-2285.
A complete listing of library events can be found on the Exhibitions and Events page on the library website, or by calling (818) 677-2638.