Lifelong West Virginian, Forest ‘Jack’ Bowman, is the Jackson Kelly Professor of Law Emeritus at West Virginia University. Lawyer by trade, Bowman, retired from law three years ago. Today, he spends his days authoring novels and tinkering in his workshop. 

Bowman taught Law at WVU for 23 years, during which time he was named Professor of the Year by an unprecedented number of seven graduating classes. 

In 1988, he was named Professor of the Year for all of higher education in West Virginia by the Faculty Merit Foundation of West Virginia.

In his retirement, Jack has written two novels: All Our Yesterdays, the story of a much-wronged orphan boy’s revenge on his tormentors, and The Secret of the 48th Foot, detailing the search for the chest of gold and silver coins that disappeared following General Edward Braddock’s 1755 defeat by the French and their Indian allies. 

The genesis of his writing aspirations started early in his youth. Often, he would save the clippings of news articles and stories to be explored in the future. 

Uncoincidentally, his affinity for history began around the same time. Growing up in Grant County, there was no shortage of historical saga, listening to stories from his grandfather about their family tree and important lessons. 

“History is to be learned from,” remarked Bowman.

Like those things that can be learned from history, Bowman hopes to instill essential lessons about cunning and grit from the perspective of ordinary people through his writing. His goal is to display a new kind of hero––one that reflects his own upbringing.

Bowman is happy in retirement, enjoying early morning conversations and breakfast with his dear wife, to whom he attributes much of his writing success. 

To get your copy of All Our Yesterdays and The Secret of the 48th Foot, you can find it available on 

Listen to the full podcast here:


  • RECOMMENDED RESOURCE: All Our Yesterdays and The Secret of the 48th Foot by Forest Bowman
  • PIECE OF ADVICE: “I am where I am today because I did what I wanted to become,” advised Bowman.