I have not yet been able to review this book, due to an error is postal/mailing/receiving issues, but I will be reviewing the book VERY soon! Below you will find information about Karl, what his book is about, and some more information. I hope you all enjoy reading about Karl, and come back to read the review SOON!
**I would like to thank Sami, at JKSCommunications who keeps in contact with me on a regular basis to do book reviews, guest posts, etc. I love working with her and this company, and hope to do so for quite some time!**
Karl McMillen, Jr., born in 1928, grew up in a young and developing Southern California. From an early age, Karl displayed a drive for greatness; working many odds-and-ends jobs and soaking up knowledge and skillsets from every available source.
Karl started his working career plumbing track houses in Southern California as a partner in Alert Plumbing. Karl went on to distribute plumbing supplies all throughout So Cal and Las Vegas asthe owner of
Todd Pipe & Supply, which he grew to 9 locations and employed over 400 dedicated employees. Through Karl’s hard work, dedication, and commitment to his employees and customers, the success of Todd Pipe
Karl life can be broken down into 3 distinct parts: The first was to study hard and get educated (Karl graduated from USC with a degree in Business Finance). Then came working hard and making a lot of
money. Now, he’s giving it back.
In 2008, Karl and wife Carol started The McMillen Family Foundation, which currently supports more
than 13 different organizations. To date, the McMillen Family Foundation has donated over $12
million to charities and foundations, including: Thelma’s Place (Thelma McMillen Center @ Torrance
Memorial), House of Hope, Pathways to Independence, Friendly House, Beacon House, First Step,
Lynn House, Shawl House, Ashland Home, Villa Center, and 3 Alano Clubs.
Karl’s amazing story of business success is counterbalanced by the emotional deaths of his first wife to
cancer and both his sons who spent most of their lives battling substance abuse. Karl, too, has struggled
with alcoholism and proudly carries his seventeen-year sobriety chip.
Karl may see himself as a “regular guy,” but to the countless number of employees, customers,
friends, family members and those in need that have been touched by Karl’s good will….he is anything
but a regular guy.
About Co-Authors Bill Hayes and Jennifer Thomas:
Bill Hayes and Jennifer Thomas are a powerful publishing duo—Hayes, an established author; Thomas
a prolific writer, editor, designer, and publisher. Their individual and collective works include the
award-winning Hullabaloo!: The Life and (Mis)Adventures of L.A. Radio Legend Dave Hull and the
perennial bestseller, The Original Wild Ones: Tales of the Boozefighters Motorcycle Club.
With a degree in English Literature and three successful biker books in his saddlebags, Hayes has
gained renown throughout the motorcycle culture as the “world’s most literate biker.” He received the
prestigious Silver Spoke Award in 2010 for his body of literary work in the motorcycling community
and has spent more than a decade as the National Press and Publicity Officer of the legendary
Boozefighters Motorcycle Club. Hayes has now achieved success with several new and upcoming
biographies. Triumphs and Tragediesis his fifth published work.
Ms. Thomas holds a B.A. from Columbia University and a Specialized Certificate in Copyediting from
the University of California, San Diego. As the owner of Beyond Words Editing, she has edited and
designed books of every genre. Thomas was Editor-in-Chief of the inspirational Butterfly Tears:
Stories of Entrapment to Empowerment. As the owner of Final Word Press, she co-authored, edited,
designed, and published Triumphs and Tragedies.
Both Hayes and Thomas are multi-degreed black belts, co-owning Old School Kenpo Karate Studio in
Torrance, California (www.oldschoolkenpo.com) and empowering women through their acclaimed
Basic Yet Brutal self-defense workshops. Hayes also has a forty-plus-year “sub-career” as a
Hermosa Beach, California, in the mid-1960s. Sun, surf, swanky sand castles along the Strand, and a soundtrack of “Fun, Fun, Fun.” But the hang-loose life of the locals would soon be drowned out and painted black. The
social storm brewing could turn even the most perfect wave into a brutal riptide.
Karl McMillen, Jr. deserved a piece of the Pacific paradise. He’d plumbed his way up from screwfittings and
sweat into mega-business ownership and multimillions. He’d earned the azure-awesome view that he woke to
every magical morning. And he’d earned the ideal family at his side. A dynamic wife and two bright, talented
sons with sky’s-the-limit potential.
But that storm…
He never saw it coming. It hit hard and it hit fast. The grinding gales of addiction ripped everything he had apart.
How do you go from planning exotic family vacations and evaluating real estate investments to planning prison visits and evaluating rehab centers and criminal defense pleas? How do you watch your surfer champion sons transform into drug lords? Inmates? How do you watch your entire family die; one by one?
And yet never stop fighting.
What does it take to look in the mirror and search for the meaning of enabler? To face that you’re sacrificing
your own livelihood for Scotch? To ride a sheer, pounding wave of triumphs and tragedies, and then pull out and paddle back for more?
It takes a rare and special person—Karl McMillen.
“Triumphs and Tragedies: A True Story of Wealth and Addiction” chronicles top-of-the-world success
juxtaposed against a downside of life no one should have to suffer. A side that proves that there are some things money cannot buy.
How Karl weathered his terrible tempest is a huge part of his story; but so is what he has done with that survival.
How he has used his powerful wealth as ammunition to fight for others. To strive to prevent anyone from
enduring the tragedies he and his family went through. That is his true triumph.
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