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Michael Fitzgerald

From Bloomingpedia

Michael Oren Fitzgerald (b. 1949) is an entrepreneur, author and editor. He and his wife, Judith Fitzgerald, have an adult son and live in Bloomington, Indiana.

Entrepreneurial career

Michael Fitzgerald has founded or co-founded more than a dozen successful businesses in the Bloomington, Indiana area. The largest is Sunrise Greetings[[1]]/ InterArt Holding Corporation, which was a $72 million greeting card company when he sold it to Hallmark cards in 1998<ref>Indiana Business Magazine’s cover story in December 1991 was on Fitzgerald and Sunrise Greetings</ref>. The businesses Fitzgerald co-founded employed approximately 1,000 people from 1997 through 2000 in Bloomington and in other sites around the US.

Michael Fitzgerald's other Bloomington, IN area businesses include The Bakehouse (now the Scholar’s Inn Bakehouse[2]) , Perennial Designs, Leather Ltd, Devonshire Equestrian Center (now Rocky River Farm[3]),BloomingPaws (formerly Canine Companions)[4], Russell Road Water Corporation and Deer Park Management[] .

Fitzgerald’s Bloomington area real estate developments include Devonshire, Devonshire South, The Arbors, The Woodlands, Inverness Farms III, Henderson Crossing, College Mall Apartments, Bart Villa Apartments, The Uptown Apartments (Allen Building), The Boulders at Deer Park and Deer Park Manor. He is also the co-developer of the Main Street Mall and three condominium developments in Breckenridge, Colorado.

Michael Fitzgerald and Andrew Mallor were partners in the Bloomington law firm of Mallor and Fitzgerald from 1977 to 1979.

Michael Fitzgerald is now retired from day to day business involvement, but still serves as a director for several privately held businesses.

Fitzgerald holds an Honor’s Degree in Religious Studies from Indiana University, with Phi Beta Kappa and Magna Cum Laude distinctions, and a Doctor of Jurisprudence from Indiana University with Cum Laude distinction.

Author and editor

The first book Fitzgerald recorded and edited was Yellowtail: Crow Medicine Man and Sun Dance Chief University of Oklahoma Press, 1994, isbn=0806126027. It is the story of the late Thomas Yellowtail, one of the most honored American Indian spiritual leaders of the last century. Fitzgerald first met Susie Yellowtail, who is now enshrined in the Montana Hall of Fame, when he was Joseph Epes Brown’s graduate teaching assistant at Indiana University for “Religious Traditions of the North American Indians”. Fitzgerald spent the summer of 1971 living with Thomas and Susie Yellowtail on the Crow Indian Reservation in Wyola, Montana, where he participated in the tribal Sun Dance and was adopted into the Yellowtail family and the Crow tribe. Following Dr. Brown’s 1972 departure to Montana, Fitzgerald taught a course of the same name in the Indiana University Continuing Studies Department for two years.

Fitzgerald married his wife, Judith, in 1972. The Yellowtails were to provide the Fitzgeralds with introductions to many spiritual leaders of other American Indian tribes; thus Judith and Michael Fitzgerald have spent extended periods of time over a period of forty years visiting traditional cultures and attending sacred ceremonies throughout the American West, including the sacred rites of the Crow, Sioux, Cheyenne, Shoshone, Bannock, and Apache Tribes. These contacts led to the creation of a number of books and two documentary films on the American Indians. Fitzgerald has also lectured widely on American Indian history and culture at various colleges and high schools.

In 2004 Fitzgerald and his wife, Judith, a graduate of Indiana University, Bloomington, and an artisan, calligrapher, and graphic designer, published the first in an award-winning series of illustrated inspirational books on the world’s religions, called “Sacred Worlds”. Many of the photographs in this series and in Fitzgerald’s other books were taken by him during their travels to visit traditional cultures around the world.

Fitzgerald has now authored or co-edited more than fiften books on world religions, sacred art, culture, and philosophy that have received more than thirty prestigious awards and have been published in six different languages. At least ten of his books and two documentary films produced by him are used in university classesFitzgerald’s complete bibliography is available on one of his publisher’s websites

Public Service

Michael Fitzgerald’s Bloomington, IN area public service includes:

  • Chairperson of the “Youth Programs” working group of Bloomington’s Safe and Civil City Task Force (1996-97);
  • Director of the Bloomington Entrepreneurship Academy, a subsidiary of the National Entrepreneurship Foundation (1990 – 1994);
  • Advisory Board of the Bloomington Area Arts Council (2000 – 2005);
  • Director of the Community Foundation of Bloomington & Monroe County (2002-2003).


The Fitzgerald family:

  • donated 342 acres of land in Santa Fe, New Mexico and Bloomington, Indiana into permanent conservation easements to prevent any future development.
  • established the “Fitzgerald Hall of Natural Science” at Wonderlab (Bloomington’s Children’s Museum)
  • established the Deer Park Solar Initiative for solar energy installations[5]
  • royalties from the Fitzgeralds’ award winning book, The Sermon of All Creation: Christians on Nature, are donated to environmental charities, including the Red Cloud Renewable Energy Center.

The Fitzgerald family is a long-time supporter of the Lotus Education and Arts Foundation.

  • Michael Fitzgerald is the founding contributor of the “Lotus – Fitzgerald Endowment” for world music and education [6]
  • Sunrise Greetings was a Presenting Sponsor of the annual Lotus Festival during the time it was owned by Fitzgerald
  • Deer Park Management is the lifetime Presenting Sponsor of the “Summer Night of Lotus” program

The Fitzgerald family’s other philanthropy includes:


Michael Fitzgerald is an inaugural member of the Indiana High School Swimming Hall of Fame.[[7]]

External Links


2 Indiana Business Magazine’s cover story in December 1991 was on Fitzgerald and Sunrise Greetings
6 University of Oklahoma Press, 1991 and 1994, isbn=0806126027
7 Fitzgerald’s complete bibliography is available on one of his publisher’s websites
10 | The Community Foundation of Bloomington and Monroe County, in Indiana, has an online news article on the Fitzgerald family, giving some additional details of Michael Fitzgerald's entrepreneurial and philanthropic activities.