Catherine Marshall (standing at center)
Her mother, Leonora Wood (seated to the right of Catherine)
Catherine Marshall was born in 1915 to parents Reverend John Ambrose Wood and Leonora Whitaker Wood. In the 1940's she was married to Peter Marshall, Chaplain of the U.S. Senate. She soon gave birth to their son, Peter Jr. In 1949, Catherine's devoted husband died of a tragic heart attack. She was left to care for their 9-year-old son. Soon afterwards, she began writing the very first of her more than 20 books, which have sold over sixteen million copies and include several collections of sermons and prayers by her late husband. By far, Catherine's biggest success was her 1967 novel, Christy, which was inspired by the story of her own mother's journey to the mountains to teach the impoverished children of Appalachia.
In 1959, Catherine married Leonard LeSourd, who was the editor of Guideposts Magazine for twenty-eight years. She stepped into the role of mother for his three children. In 1974, the LeSourds joined John and Elizabeth Sherill to form Chosen Books Publishing Company in Lincoln, Virginia.
Even through the deaths of two of her own grandchildren, in 1966 and 1971, Catherine never let go of her faith in God. Those who knew her say that she was best known for her intense desire for intimacy with Jesus Christ--whom she loved more than any husband. Through reading her books, thousands were led to experience God in a new and exciting way.