John J. Dwyer
Will Robers Medallion Award-winning Oklahoma author and historian John J. Dwyer, author of The Oklahomans, The War Between the States, Stonewall, Robert E. Lee and more.
His mother instilled in him a love for history, and coupled with his creative imagination, it soon became apparent that John not only liked to hear of legend and history, but to make up his own as well. He began a career in journalism during his high school days when he served in a variety of roles, including news and sports reporter, for the Duncan Banner, a daily newspaper in his small Oklahoma hometown. He was the youngest sports editor in the newspaper's history by the time he attended the University of Oklahoma on a journalism scholarship. He graduated in 1978 with a bachelor of arts and sciences degree in journalism.
He worked as a radio announcer for several radio stations and won the position of sports director for the University of Oklahoma's 100,000 watt KGOU‐FM radio station. For seven years, he provided live, on‐air reports to America's largest radio networks of University of Oklahoma college football games.
He attended Dallas Theological Seminary where he earned his Master of Biblical Studies while working part time on the sports staff of The Dallas Times Herald, which at the time owned one of the five largest circulations of any daily newspaper in Texas.
In the spring of 1992, Dwyer and his wife founded the Dallas‐Fort Worth Heritage newspaper, which would grow to a circulation of 50,000 per month at the time of its sale, after nearly a decade, to new owners. The Heritage pioneered innovative features such as full color photography and graphics, an expansive web site, a cluster of informative daily radio programs, and an aggressive, uncompromising brand of investigative news reporting unprecedented for contemporary news publications holding an
orthodox Christian worldview.
In 2006, at the urging of his family and the Oklahoma Historical Society, John returned to Oklahoma to tackle the colossal task of writing The Oklahomans, which was endorsed as an official project of the Oklahoma Centennial Commission. Released in 2016, it won the national Will Rogers Medallion Award literary contest for non-fiction.
John’s other books include the non‐fiction historical narrative The War Between the States: America's Uncivil War (Red River Press), now in its fourth edition; the historical novels Stonewall and Robert E. Lee (Broadman & Holman Publishers), and the novel When the Bluebonnets Come (Bluebonnet Press). Also, the historical novel Shortgrass (Tiree Press), which won last year’s Will Rogers Medallion Award for Inspirational Fiction, and its sequel, the new World War II epic Mustang (Tiree Press).
Dr. Bob Blackburn, Executive Director of the Oklahoma Historical Society, called The Oklahomans, “The best book on Oklahoma History ever,” and said, “The difference between John Dwyer and other historical authors is that he doesn’t just tell what happened, he shows why people did what they did.”