Joel L. Fletcher was born in Lafayette, La., in 1935, remaining there through high school. In 1957, he received his B.A. degree from Tulane University. Between 1957 and 1960, he served as a gunnery officer aboard the carrier U.S.S. Bennington. During 1960-1961 he pursued graduate study at Stanford University, and then independent study in Italy, France, and England. From 1963-1967 he directed the American Language School in Florence, Italy. He lived extensively in Europe, working in the fields of education, art collecting, and literature, returning to the United States in 1975. He is widely known as the author of Ken and Thelma, a personal memoir published in 2005, describing the background story to the publication of Toole's A Confederacy of dunces, as well as his friendship with John Kennedy Toole in New Orleans and Lafayette, and through correspondence. In 2009, he is a partner in Fletcher/Copenhaver Fine Art, Fredericksburg, Va.
From the description of Joel L. Fletcher papers, 1960-2006 (bulk, 1990-2006) (Tulane University). WorldCat record id: 436921581