While attending Daviess County High School in the late 1980s, Carol Kaufmann was not thinking of her future career. She enjoyed her English classes and was the editor for the annual, but she was not involved with journalism or the school newspaper.
Kaufmann, who had always written stories, graduated with degrees in journalism and political science from Indiana University.
These took her to New York City where she began a fellowship at CBS News. Kauffman realized that New York City was expensive, so she packed up and moved to Washington, D.C.
In Washington D.C., Kauffman began producing TV news shows, earning accolades for the research work she did as a coordinating producer for “America” at PBS and as an associate producer for “Good Morning America’s” Washington-based bureau.
A large part of her work at both included researching all of the elements that went into each story, which Kaufmann enjoyed as a political science major. But, after about five years, the travel and time demands became too much and Kauffman left the television industry.
“I just stopped everything,” Kauffman said.
She returned to school, earning her Master’s degree in Humanities in 2000 from Georgetown University.
At Georgetown, Kauffman spotted a flyer for an international magazine that was looking for a researcher. She applied and became a staff writer for National Geographic. At first, her job was research-based and she was a fact-checker for articles from other authors.
After taking the test to be a writer for National Geographic, which she had to do twice, Kaufmann began writing her own articles and expanded her topics. Civil War battlefields, cheetahs, African geography, endangered fish, oceans, ancient Italian and Mayan archaeology and American small towns were just some of the articles Kaufmann authored during her time at National Geographic.
She also had the opportunity to travel and experience several countries which included taking “a trip a mile-and-a-half down to the bottom of the Pacific Ocean in the submersible Alvin.”
Kaufmann also worked at AARP, Reader’s Digest, and World Bank Group, still using her interest in political issues, natural history, home and family and editorial skills to reach worldwide audiences.
On a brainstorming meeting with Workman Publishing, her publisher asked her if she was interested in writing a book about cats. A self-proclaimed crazy cat person, Kaufmann jumped at the chance.
“97 Ways to Make a Cat Like You” was a research project Kaufmann said she could have written on the trip home from the meeting. Using her interest in cats, the photographs of cats that are included in the book (and that were spread all over her dining room table as she wrote) and her own cats as a reference, she spoke with many professionals to include behaviorally-based tips and tricks specifically for interactions between cats and humans.
“There was research,” Kaufmann said. “It’s fun, but you don’t want to get it wrong.”
She received more reaction to her cat book than anything else, she said, and she also authored two page-a-day calendars in 2016 and 2017 that included 365 entries about cat stories, facts, historical tales, puns and tips.
Using her interest in natural history, Kaufmann authored three lenticular — enhanced 3D — photo books, “SAFARI,” “OCEAN” and “POLAR,” which made the New York Times Best Seller List. She has a completed manuscript for a new book, “Tigers.” Kaufmann currently writes full-time for several publications, including The Washington Post.
With a diverse career, Kaufmann has held and written many titles.
“I am a generalist,” Kaufmann said. “I know a little bit about a lot of things.”
Kaufmann lives in Virginia with her husband and children and returns to Owensboro twice a year to see family and friends. Facebook has helped her reconnect with college friends and she enjoys having reunions with friends from all facets of her life.