As director of archives and football information at the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Jon Kendle oversees the organization, preservation and dissemination of more than 40 million pages of documents and 6 million photographs related not just to the history of football but every player, coach and administrator who helped build the game to what it is today. He leads the Hall’s digital transformation strategy and hosts private event presentations of the Ralph Wilson, Jr. Pro Football Research and Preservation Center. Jon is a Canton native. He lives in Avondale with his wife, Amanda, their two children, Liam and Isla, and their dog, Otis.
What is the last book you read?
“The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable” by Patrick Lencioni (212 pages, 2002). I read as many leadership books as I can these days. This fictional tale is a quick read loaded with useful information about how to lead an effective team by putting people in the right positions to succeed.
What section of the library or bookstore do you visit first?
Cooking. My wife and I love to cook and explore different cultures through food. However, I never leave without going through the sports section to make sure I’m up to date on the newly released football books.
Who is your favorite author and why?
John Steinbeck. I love the settings he creates and how they impact his characters. As a naturalistic writer, I gravitate to the frankness and realism of Steinbeck’s writing.
What is the book you always come back to?
“Volkswagen Vanagon: Official Factory Repair Manual.” My family and I recently purchased and restored a 1987 Volkswagen Vanagon Westfalia Syncro. We use it to travel as a family and camp. Needless to say, I’m always coming back to the repair manual to troubleshoot issues.
What is the first book you remember reading?
In grade school at Clarendon Elementary, I vividly remember reading “I See Sam” books by Alan Hofmeister in language arts.
What is a book you wish you had written?
“NFL Century: The One-Hundred-Year Rise of America’s Greatest Sports League” by Joe Horrigan (352 pages, 2019). I jest a little here. Joe retired in June after 42 years at the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He was a great mentor to me over the last 15 years, and I helped pull together a lot of information for his book. I can’t wait to read it when it is released (Note: It was not yet released at the time of publication). It will be GREAT!