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Michael Koepf

Michael Koepf was born in San Mateo, California, in March 1940. His father Ernest Koepf was a commercial fisherman, and his mother Ursula Koepf was a bookkeeper in a fish cannery. Koepf’s childhood home was Moss Beach, near the town of Half Moon Bay, California.

At eighteen, Koepf joined the US Army. He served as a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne Division, and later as a volunteer for the Army’s Special Forces. While with the First Special Forces Group, he served in Southeast Asia during the nascent period of the Vietnam War. After his discharge from the Army, Koepf attended San Mateo Junior College and San Francisco State University, earning a BA in Communications and English (1966) and an MA in Creative Writing (1967).

After graduation, Koepf held various jobs: teacher in a private girl’s school in Hillsborough, California; principal of a one-room schoolhouse in Big Sur, California; and commercial fisherman of salmon, crab, and tuna. Over his twenty years as a fisherman, Koepf owned and captained three different vessels (the Thor, NOBE, and LCF). Koepf’s two younger brothers, John and Ernie, also became commercial fishermen. Koepf worked in Hollywood for 10 years as a screenwriter crafting scripts for Lauren Weissman, Robert Towne, and Steven Spielberg.

Koepf is currently married to Laura Adams. He has a daughter, Michele Koepf; a son, Ehren Koepf, and two granddaughters, Liza Koepf and Caroline Koepf. Koepf has lived in Mendocino, California between the forest and the sea since 1972 in a house that he and his third wife Mary built themselves.

About the collection: Papers, 1961-2019 contains manuscripts of published and unpublished novels, drafts of screenplays, short stories and poetry, research material, photographs, and a leather briefcase which belonged to the writer Max Crawford, as well as extensive correspondence from Crawford.

  • Koepf, Michael. Shelter Cove. Amazon, 2019.
  • Koepf, Michael and Max Crawford.  Icarus.  New York: Antheneum, 1988.
  • Koepf, Michael. The Fisherman's Son.  New York: Random House, 1987.
  • Koepf, Michael. Save the Whale.   New York: McGraw Hill, 1978.

Updated: July 9, 2021