James Pagano was born and raised in San Francisco where he attended St. Ignatius College Prep then the University of California at Berkeley. At the age of fourteen he developed an interest in the acoustic guitar. Within two years he was performing at local clubs and coffee houses. This love of music, combined with early ‘70’s-era rebellion and academic burn-out, led to his dropping out of college after his sophomore year.
During the one-year hiatus he pursued his musical interests but came to realize the future could be brighter with a focus on a different career. Upon returning to Berkeley he did a bit of research and discovered he would technically be eligible for admission to medical school at the completion of his third year of undergraduate study. That there was a considerable difference between technical eligibility and actually getting in was not, he believed, an adequate excuse for not trying. He was accepted to Rush University’s Medical College, and in the late summer of that year he packed his car and drove off to Chicago.
He completed his professional training with a residency in the new specialty of Emergency Medicine at UCLA. He has since worked in a variety of emergency rooms in the greater LA area, and has been the medical director and/or contract holder at one or another of them for many years. The music, though, has continued. He has written and recorded music for motion pictures and has recorded two CD’s of finger-style acoustic guitar instrumentals, PS 1 by Pagano and Saslow, and Hopeless Romantic by Jimmy Pagano.
Always an avid reader he decided to give writing a try. This has resulted in the publication of two novels, The Bleed, in 2010, and The Drain in 2012. Though works of fiction, the characters, situations, and slightly dark humor derive from his actual work experience.