Charles Mangrum II


From a 1986 biographical sketch


Charles T. Mangrum II was born in Chicago, Illinois on January 17, 1938 to Frances and Avery Mangrum, and received his early education in Chicago and L’Asne, Michigan. In 1956 he graduated from Lane Technical School in Chicago. After a tour in the U.S. Army, he began his college studies as a student at the University of Illinois in Chicago. During the summer of 1957, at the urging of Mary Lou Dudo, a cousin and student at Northern Michigan University, he visited the NMU campus where he met Dean Bottum, whose helpful guidance and friendliness convinced Mangrum to attend NMU.

He attended NMU from 1957 to 1963, receiving a B.S. in Sociology in January, 1961, followed by a M.A. in Teacher Education in January, 1963. The head of the economics department at the time, Professor Jean Pearman, piqued his curiosity in sociology and introduced him to college teaching. Mangrum taught undergraduate sociology courses at NMU while studying for his masters degree. Professor Pat Farrell taught him a love of geography as well as how to instill interest in subject matter before burdening students with facts, Sylvia Kinnenan sparked his interest in teaching reading, and a nonreader at Graveret Junior High School turned that interest into a mission.

While at Northern, Mangrum was a member of the Tri Mu fraternity, now known as TKE. Although he was active in a number of clubs and organizations, he spent most of his time taking pictures. He developed an interest in photography during his high school years. At NMU he was a newspaper, yearbook and commercial photographer, winning several awards for his photographs. At times he also took pictures for NMU Public Relations and the Peninsulan. When the Dallas Cowboys held their summer camp on the NMU campus, he was one of their photographers.

From 1961-63, he taught in the Michigamme and Gwynn school systems in Michigan, then attended Southern Illinois University where he studied reading education, and in 1964 he earned the Specialist in Education degree with a major in reading education. While at SIU, he met Jane Rocconi, whom he married in September, 1964 in Iron Mountain, Michigan. Both he and Jane moved to northern Illinois where Mangrum became a Reading Specialist for the Woodcock School System. In 1966, they moved again to Bloomington, Indiana, where Mangrum entered the doctoral program at Indiana University and graduated in 1968. While a doctoral student, he was actively involved in research and publication.

After graduating, Mangrum joined the faculty at the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida where he continued his research and publication activities. He was chairman of the Graduate Program in Reading and Learning Disabilities, one of the largest of its kind in the United States at the time. He was one of the first to recognize the importance of combining reading disorders with learning disabilities and developed one of the first programs to train advanced professionals in the areas of reading and learning disabilities. His research made him the national authority on learning disabilities among college students. His textbook, college and the Learning Disabled Student, was used by colleges and universities throughout the world to establish appropriate support services for learning disabled college students. His second book, Peterson’s Guide to College Programs for the Learning Disabled, is used by parents, learning disabled students, counselors and advocates for learning disabled students to locate appropriate colleges for bright and capable learning disabled students who desire the right to a college education. He was also written college-level textbooks used for teacher training at 350 colleges and universities.

Mangrum has also published instructional materials used by more than 5 million grade school students. He is co-author of a multimedia program for the primary grades that teaches the alphabet and the sounds that each letter represents. The program was published by Economy Publishing company and is titled Letter Sounds all Around. He is the author of Comprehension we Use, a reading comprehension skills development program published by Riverside Publishing Company, among a myriad of other learning resources.

Mangrum was an active member of many professional organizations in the state of Florida. He is past president of the Florida Reading Association and was instrumental in obtaining legislation that provides for reading resource specialists in Florida schools. He has been involved with helping youth improve their education through Boys Town of Florida, the Archdiocese of Miami schools, the juvenile courts and many other local, state and federal programs.

In 1997, he partnered with Dr. Stephen S. Strichart to form Mangrum-Strichart Learning Resources, a popular provider of curriculum and study resources for children of all ages. Their products are currently used in over 4,500 schools worldwide.