Jack Garner, 2014Jack Garner

Class of 1963

Jack Garner was staff film critic at the Democrat and Chronicle for 30 years, and chief national critic for the Gannett newspapers nationally for the last 20 of those years, before he retired in June, 2007. He continues to write for the newspaper as a freelancer, doing a weekly entertainment column, and articles about jazz and classic film.

He holds a B.A. degree in journalism from St. Bonaventure University, and an M.S. from Syracuse University. He joined the Rochester Times-Union in 1970, working rewrite where he compiled the stories for which two D&C reporters won a Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the Attica prison rebellion.

Jack began reviewing films for the Democrat and Chronicle in 1977. In 1987, Garner was appointed chief film critic of Gannett News Service, and his writing regularly appeared in Gannett newspapers nationwide, and in journals worldwide. Jack taught at Monroe Community College and Rochester Institute of Technology at various times, and served on the boards of Writers & Books and BOA Editions. He’s one of only four people to ever receive the George Eastman House’s prestigious George Eastman Medal of Honor.

Jack’s book, From My Seat on the Aisle, is a memoir and anthology of his work, and has been published by RIT Press.

Jack has been married since 1970 to Bonnie Garner. Though the couple met at Syracuse, they discovered mutual roots — Jack grew up in South Williamsport, and was graduated from South Williamsport Area High School in 1963. Bonnie is a 1965 graduate of Montoursville High School. The couple has three grown children, and are the proud grandparents of four children.