Jon D. Olsen is a self-described "unrepentant sixties radical activist," with "radical" not meaning violent or extremist, but the original meaning of "getting to the root of the matter." He grew up in Maine, getting a degree in philosophy from Bates College, and taught high school for one year. Discovering that while actual teaching was enjoyable, and that enforcing classroom discipline was not, he "escaped" to Hawai'i for the next 36 years. While there and in the process of obtaining a Master's in philosophy, he was a founding member of Students for a Democratic Society, the Resistance (to the Draft), and Peace and Freedom Party. A bit later he owned and ran a radical bookstore with volunteer labor of his own and others seeking a more just and peaceful society. In 1989, he was also a founding member of the Hawai'i Green Party.
After a few short-time jobs, including working in the Honolulu tuna cannery as a case stacker, a place where he met his newly arrived Filipina immigrant wife-to-be, he found a successful niche as a marketer of solar water heating systems, which he did for the better part of the next 20 years, while maintaining an interest in local and world political realities. He returned to Maine in August 2001, as his father was about to turn 90 years old, and to reunite with the beloved family homestead adjacent to Damariscotta Lake where he had spent so many enjoyable hours fishing.
He quickly joined the Maine Green Independent Party and twice served two-year terms on the State Steering Committee. Equally at home in Maine and Hawai'i, he has, from the mid 1970s onward, taken a keen interest in the latter's sovereignty movement, seeing it as an important part of the worldwide effort to defeat imperial rule, wherever it may be. It is this interest that led to the writing of Liberate Hawai'i! using and promoting the excellent legal and historical research done by Hawaiians. He is the proud father of an adult daughter and son and the grandfather of his daughter's two children.