Sunday, December 20, 2009


Kelly contacted me recently and said she has an opportunity to hand-delivery her book, "A Better Man," to Oprah Winfrey. What a fantastic prospect! Everyone knows that a mention of your book on Oprah is an instant best seller. I wish Kelly that good fortune, and I'm posting my letter here, hoping that others who aren't familiar with Kelly's book will pick it up and pass it along to a teen.

Ms. Winfrey: As you are aware, teens need role models, and I would like you to know that Kelly Johnson has an indisputable line-up of 26 role models in “A Better Man,” the book of essays and interviews she has compiled and edited. Johnson found reputable leaders in a vast array of professions from athletics, politics, the military, education, entertainment and more. Some of the men, such as director, producer and actor Kenny Leon, grew up poor. Others, such as President George H.W. Bush, were born to privilege. In all cases, these men overcame adversity, used their talents to achieve success and also to benefit others.

This book can help boys look to men who have succeeded in fulfilling their dreams. It can help them understand they can attain their goals. I recommend this book for all young men from middle school through college. They can benefit from reading about men with dreams just like they have. Johnson gets to the heart of the subjects and presents their stories in understandable terms.

I hope you can find time to invite Johnson to your television program to discuss “A Better Man.”

Thank you for considering this request.

Jo Ann Mathews

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