Dr. Carl Martin Jensen 1929 – 2015 Born in Brooklyn, New York, to Danish and Swedish immigrants Anna and Martin Jensen. Carl moved across the country to Arcata, California, with his parents at the start of World War II. After graduating from Arcata Union High School in 1947 he attended Columbia University for a year and then Humboldt State. While pursuing his education he married and had a child. To support his wife, Donna, and baby he worked at the Arcata Union newspaper and on weekends managed the local movie theater. At the start of the Korean War Carl joined the Air Force. He attended Officers’ Candidate School at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas and became a First Lieutenant. He served most of his military career at Ramey Air Base in Puerto Rico where he worked in intelligence and in his spare time entertained the troops as a disc jockey on the radio.
Dr. Carl Jensen, Founder of Project Censored, Memorial Service
A memorial service will be held for Project Censored founder Dr. Carl Jensen at 2:00 P.M. on Saturday, July 25, at Cross and Crown Lutheran Church in Rohnert Park. Jensen passed away April 23. Memorial contributions may be made to Project Censored, PO Box 571, Cotati, CA 94931 or to the Sonoma County Humane Society.
Here is a link to a piece written in Carl’s memory by Dr. Peter Phillips:
Below is the obituary, published in The Press Democrat of Santa Rosa, CA:
After the war Carl returned to civilian life as a reporter at the Miami Daily News in Florida. He married his second wife, Sophie, and together they started their own paper to pursue hard-hitting investigative journalism. Exposing corruption in 1950s Miami was a dangerous occupation and after receiving serious threats they moved to San Francisco. Carl began a new career in advertising but was a frustrated writer. After their first child was born they decided to sell everything and move to Europe to be bohemian writers. They traveled throughout Europe and lived briefly in Spain, Sweden, and Denmark. By the 1960s they had returned to the U.S., settled in Los Angeles, and had two more children. Carl again worked in advertising at the international agency Batten, Barton, Durstine, and Osborn (BBDO) where he rose to be an award-winning copy writer, account supervisor, and vice president.
In 1969, after a near fatal car accident with his wife and four children, Carl had an epiphany. He vowed that if he, and his family, survived he would do something more meaningful with his life. Everyone survived and his life changed in a profound way. He left the MadMen lifestyle and enrolled at UC Santa Barbara to pursue a Ph.D. in sociology and a new career in teaching. He earned his Ph.D. in 1977 and married his third wife, Sandra, the very next day. Carl began teaching sociology at Sonoma State University in 1973. With his experience in media he worked for years to create the Communications and Media Studies department. The academic freedom at SSU in the 1970s allowed Carl to develop a groundbreaking research program he called Project Censored.
The project involved a who’s who of media experts including Bill Moyers, Mike Wallace, Walter Cronkite, Jessica Mitford, and Noam Chomsky. Over the years there have been hundreds of hard working SSU student researchers. Project Censored will be celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2016 and remains the longest-running media research project in the country. Carl wrote the annual Censored yearbooks through 1996 and a anniversary edition, 20 Years of Censored News. His interest in the history of journalism led him to write a biographical book titled Stories that Changed America, about the muckraking journalists of the 20th century.
He also brought back into publication a book written in 1907 by Upton Sinclair titled Millennium a Comedy of the Year 2000. Carl was rewarded for his teaching, research, and writing with numerous awards including the Hugh M. Hefner First Amendment Award, the Firecracker Alternative Book Award, and the Freedom of Information Award from the Los Angeles, and the Northern California, Society of Professional Journalists. Carl retired from SSU in 1997 and continued to participate in Project Censored, enjoying his role as founder. In retirement he worked on his memoir, a tome of more than 400 pages. His multifaceted life included an interest in photography. He enjoyed showing his photographs and won several awards for his art. He also enjoyed monthly poker games for 30 years with his SSU colleagues. Carl loved sports and was a life-long Dodgers fan. He loved animals, was a vegetarian, and worked to support animal rights. His greatest happiness were the three Great Danes he, and Sandra, raised over the years. He enjoyed long walks around Cotati with his beautiful Dane at his side, until his health began to fail. Carl passed away at his home in Cotati on April 23, 2015, after a long struggle with Parkinson’s and Lewy Body Disease. His wife and his daughter, Lisa, were at his side. He is survived by his wife of 38 years, Sandra, his children Sherman (Mary), Lisa, Pia, John (Elizabeth), his grandsons Jeremiah (Sara), Robert, Jonathan (MarKawShuWa), and several great-grandchildren.