Jan Harold Brunvand
Jan Harold Brunvand (born March 23, 1933) is an American folklorist, researcher, writer, public speaker, and professor emeritus of English at the University of Utah.Brunvand is best known for popularizing the concept of the urban legend, a form of modern folklore or story telling. Urban Legends are ""too good to be true"" stories that travel by word of mouth, by print or the internet and are attributed to an FOAF: friend of a friend. ""Urban Legends,"" Brunvand says, ""have a persistent hold on the imagination because they have an element of suspense or humor, they are plausible and they have a moral.""Though criticized for the ""popular"" rather than ""academic"" orientation of his book, The Vanishing Hitchhiker and others, Brunvand felt that it was a ""natural and worthwhile part of his job as a folklorist to communicate the results of his research to the public.""For his life time dedication to the field of folklore, which included radio and television appearances, a syndicated newspaper column, and over 100 publications (articles, books, notes and reviews), Brunvand is considered to be ""the legend scholar with the greatest influence on twentieth-century media.""