Fred Pruitt was born in a shack in a teeny-tiny coal mining town in the hills of Kentucky. While he was still very young his parents made the sad discovery that he had been born without a sense of humor. He has been using a prosthetic since age 8.
His parents moved to Pennsylvania, where young Fred spent his childhood hanging around with Italians, Pennsylvania Dutchmen, and the occasional English speaker. After graduation from high school, Fred joined the Army, where he remained for a twenty-year career. Once he discovered how heavy artillery shells are, he found his way into military intelligence. He was educated in classical intelligence languages -- Vietnamese and Russian -- and served tours in Vietnam, Okinawa, Thailand, Germany and Washington, D.C., travelling as time permitted, picking up bits and pieces of a few other languages on the way. After retirement he worked for a major U.S. intelligence agency for seven years, which caused the commies to give up and go out of business. Eventually he made his way into computer programming.
Fred lives in a pretty little townhouse near Baltimore with The Little Woman, two cats and two ducks. Prior to 9-11, he liked to fish, watch stupid movies (Coneheads was a favorite, followed closely by Men in Black), talk to The Little Woman, garden, and do amateur carpentry, plumbing and electrical work. Since 9-11 he has been locked in his office, compiling Rantburg, and comes out only to go to work or to the bathroom.