Saturday Feature Anthony Knopps 2021

Author Anthony Knopps.

PERRYSBURG — Fresh off retiring from the news business, Anthony Knopps was looking forward to starting a new chapter in his life.

The passage was abruptly rewritten after a car crash a few weeks later in summer 2019.

Shortly after his departure as news director at WTOL-TV, Knopps was driving on Fort Meigs Road when a distracted driver crashed into his vehicle, slamming it into a metal fence.

At the time, Knopps said he thought he was fine. He hopped out of the car and started directing traffic for the other vehicles on the road, while waiting for police to arrive.

He and his son were checked out at a local hospital and sent home.

It wasn’t until a few weeks later that Knopps found out that the crash caused a dire medical condition that almost killed him, and altered his life.

After the crash, Knopps got back on the lecture circuit, talking politics in Washington, D.C. But he soon realized something was very wrong.

“I couldn’t do anything,” said Knopps, who is 56. “It was bizarre.”

His brain was telling his body to put on a shirt, for example, but the message wasn’t going through to his arms to trigger the motion.

Back at home, Knopps went to a local hospital, where he was told he had a brain bleed and was lucky to be alive. He was rushed to a Toledo hospital where he had emergency surgery.

This type of brain injury has a mortality rate of 79%, meaning roughly four of five people don’t survive.

The recovery was slow, learning how to do minor tasks again, over a few months.

“I had to relearn how to walk, to handle certain motor tasks, and to rebuild my cognitive ability.”

Knopps, who is 56, also had to deal with the mental side of recovery. His life was not going to be the one that he had planned.

“I’ve got to be careful with what I do, not to do too much,” he said.

A therapist has helped him move on, too, Knopps said, likening his situation to a physical move to another residence.

“The new house is different and you have to create different memories here,” he said.

He got back to teaching political science in 2020, with classes at Bowling Green State University, where he’ll also be this fall.

And he tackled a new project: Writing his third book. “A Page in History” was published June 14.

The book brazenly explores “what ifs” in the election cycle (semi-spoiler alert coming). What if the president and vice president died at the same time? What if a diabolical mind can control the election process? What if a college professor from Ohio could be president?

And, mostly, does our democracy work like our founding fathers thought it would?

Yes, it’s fiction, but it’s a fascinating and wild ride with a little history and political education thrown in.

One of Knopps’ characters suffers a traumatic brain injury and the book explores his recovery.

“A Page in History” is his third novel. The first book was “Unsuspecting Viewers” (1997), followed by “Haleakala” (2002).

Knopps also has three children’s stories that are currently being illustrated. They include “My Daddy has a Headache,” a look at how to talk to children about traumatic brain injury.

For Knopps, the writing process is the easy part of creating a book; the business side is much tougher, he said. While writing “A Page in History,” he said the characters took over and wrote themselves.

Knopps was a print and television journalist for 30 years, starting his career by writing for the Kansas City Star when he was in high school. The family moved to Middleton Township 18 years ago when he got a job at WTVG. Four years later, he left for WTOL, where he retired as news director in June 2019.

He and his wife, Camille, have three children, Eliza, Alex and Abigail.

Knopps has eight Emmy awards and is a longtime instructor at the Graduate School of Political Management at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. He also serves in the Department of Political Science at BGSU and in the Department of Political Science at Adrian College in Michigan.

Meet Knopps at Gathering Volumes, 196 South Boundary St., on Sept. 12 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m., as part of an authors fair.

Visit anthonyknopps.com to get a personalized book; include the promo code “Sentinel” at checkout to get a 10% discount.

“A Page in History”

What will the Presidential landscape look like in 2024? What impact will Former President Donald Trump have on the race? In “A Page in History,” author Anthony Knopps looks at the seismic shift in American politics as he follows the uncertain path of Jeremiah Farmer. Farmer, a history professor from Ohio, unexpectedly finds himself at the center of the 2024 race as each side of the political spectrum fights for power.

“A Page in History” turns on a tragic event on the Arlington Memorial Bridge, the historic span connecting Virginia with the District of Columbia. Follow along as the public, the media and even the political leaders of the day try to make sense of the events unfolding in Washington and around the world. Is COVID really over? Do our enemies abroad pose a threat? What about the domestic unrest here at home?

It all adds up to a spine-tingling climax that strikes at the very soul of the country and its future.

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