John Leonid Nanovic

John Leonid Nanovic was born on October 7, 1907 in Nove Mesto Nad Vahom, Czechoslovakia (now Slovakia).  His father, Joseph, was 27 and his mother, Eva, was 23.  Source: 1920 United States Census

In 1908, Joseph Nanovic arrived in the United states.  Three years later in 1911, John Nanovic arrived in the United States along with his mother, two brothers, and one sister.  Source: 1920 United States Census

Joseph Nanovic Selective Service Registration Card dated September 12, 1918 has a different spelling.  The family name is spelled “Nyanyovics.” The home address is 435 Lehigh, Palmerton, Pennsylvania.

On January 13, 1920, John L. Nanovic was living at 405 Lehigh Avenue, Palmerton, Carbon County, Pennsylvania.  The Nanovic family included his father, mother, three boys, and three girls.  Source: 1920 United States Census

The Morning Call of Palmerton, Pennsylvania has an article on John Nanovic in the Friday, May 17, 1929 edition.  The article notes that Nanovic graduated high school in 1923.  It also states that John Nanovic worked for the paper while in high school beginning in 1921 and continued after his graduation until 1926 when he entered Notre Dame University.  He returned home to work for the paper during summer vacations while in college.

John Nanovic is in Altoona, Pennsylvania, visiting the Robert Price family.  Source Altoona Tribune, Thursday, June 7, 1928

Named to Editorship of University Paper – John Nanovic is named editor-in-chief of The Juggler at Notre Dame University.  Nanovic is a Junior in the Arts and Letters School, majoring in English.  The article notes that Nanovic has been a correspondent of the Morning Call for several years until he entered the university in 1926.  He is currently serving as associate editor for The Juggler.  Source: The Morning Call, Friday, May 17, 1929, The Notre Dame Alumnus, May 1929

The Sunday, January 12, 1930 issues of The South Bend Tribune mentions John Nanovic in an article about the upcoming issue of The Juggler.

The United States Census, dated April 8, 1930, lists John L. Nanovic living at  31 Lafayette Avenue, Palmerton, Carbon County, Pennsylvania.

John Leonid Nanovic is listed in the graduating class of Notre Dame University.  Source: The South Bend Tribune, Thursday, April 24, 1930

In early 1932, Nanovic and Street & Smith executive Henry begin exploring the idea of a new magazine character that would eventually become Doc Savage. After discussions with Ralston, John Nanovic writes Doc Savage Supreme Adventurer.

John Nanovic and Anne Powers are in Palmerton, from New York City, visiting during the weekend.  Anne Powers was also a Street & Smith employee.  It was against company policy for employees to date.  The couple marry in 1936.  Source: The Morning Call, Saturday, October 22, 1932

John Nanovic’s father, Joseph Nanovic was killed in an industrial accident on January 4, 1933.  He was employed by the New Jersey Zinc company.  His obituary states that he had been employed since 1909.  It also states that Joseph Nanovic arrived in the United States 30 years ago.  Source

March 1933 – John Nanovic,  Doc Savage Editor

John Nanovic was ticketed for speeding in Vincentown, New Jersey on Sunday and fined $2 plus costs.  Source: Courier Post, Monday, May 21, 1934

Ed Bodin, mentions John Nanovic and Street & Smith’s new magazine, The Whisperer, in his weekly column.  Source: The Birmingham News, Sunday, September 27, 1936

The 1940 United States Census shows John Nanovic living at 3536 76th St, Jackson Heights, NY in 1935.  Source: U.S. Public Records Index, Volume 2

April 23, 1941 – Selective Service Registration Card


PALMERTON EXPERT CALLED TO HOLLYWOOD AS TECHNICAL ADVISOR – The Daily Call, Sunday, June 7, 1942;   John Nanovic is in Hollywood working as an advisor for a movie in production, The Secret Code.  The article describes him as one of the country’s leading code experts.  The movie was Columbia Picture’s 19th serial.  Nanovic is credited under his pen name of Henry Lysing.


The November 1943 issue of Doc Savage was the last issue as Nanovic worked on as editor.  Source: The History of the Science Fiction Magazine, Volume 1, Michael Ashley

John Nanovic is listed as the guest for the radio show Hobby Lobby on KGLO-CBS.  He will be discussing codes and ciphers.  Source: Globe Gazette, Thursday, October 4, 1945

The Morning Call mentions John Nanovic as one of the speakers at the first meeting of the Palmerton High School Alumni Association.  Nanovic is working at the Kudlow Advertising Agency in New York City.  Source: The Morning Call, Wednesday, November 3, 1948

In an article dated Sunday, August 22, 1965, The Morning Call mentions that John Nanovic is vice president at Kudlow Advertising Agency in New York City.

In 1989, John L. Nanovic was living at 3536 76th Street, Apartment 404, Flushing, New York.  Source: U.S. Public Records Index, Volume 1

Anne Powers Nanovic, wife of John Nanovice dies on March 16, 1998 in Jackson Heights, New York City.  Source:

February 9, 2001 – John L. Nanovic dies.  He was living at 19446 Lansdale, Montgomery, Pennsylvania.  Source: U.S., Social Security Death Index