Author Profiles

OKLAHOMA HALL OF FAME PUBLISHING

As the leader in publishing Oklahoma’s history, the Oklahoma Hall of Fame is proud to have worked with some of Oklahoma’s best, brightest, and creative. For information on the Oklahoma Hall of Fame’s publishing program or to schedule an author or illustrator for your event, please contact Gini Moore Campbell, vice president, at (405) 523-3202 or gmc@oklahomahof.com.

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M. J. ALEXANDER

M. J. Alexander is a photographer and writer who explores the people and places of the American West, combining the vision of an artist with the skills of a storyteller. Her photographs have been published here and abroad and exhibited in venues ranging from Pleiades Gallery of New York City to...

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ROBERT ALLEN

Robert Allen never has strayed far from his Oklahoma State roots. Allen has served in the media as a television sports reporter and anchor at a pair of NBC affiliated stations. He has done television play by play and color for college and high school broadcasts as well as horse racing. He has...

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ROBERT L. “BOB” ALLEN

Robert L. "Bob" Allen was born May 22, 1939 to Corliss and Katherine Allen in El Reno, Oklahoma. He attended all 12 grades in El Reno public schools and graduated high school in 1957. He later graduated from Oklahoma Baptist University with a Bachelor of Arts in 1962.

Known as "Mr. OETA,"...

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DARLEEN BAILEY BEARD

Darleen Bailey Beard is an award-winning author of picture books, chapter books, and middle-grade novels, many of which were nominated for the Oklahoma Sequoyah Award. She loves history, is an eighth cousin to Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and has slept in the same bed as Teddy Roosevelt, though...

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BOB BLACKBURN

Bob Blackburn a native Oklahoman, has served as executive director of the Oklahoma Historical Society since 1999. He joined the OHS in 1980 as editor of The Chronicles of Oklahoma and became deputy director for agency operations in 1990.

Blackburn is a 1973 graduate of Southwestern...

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BOB BURKE

Bob Burke, born in Broken Bow, Oklahoma, has written more historical non-fiction books than anyone else in history. He earned a law degree from Oklahoma City University and received an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from OCU and a BA in journalism from the University of Oklahoma....

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VON RUSSELL CREEL

Von Russell Creel holds B.A. and J.D. degrees from the University of Oklahoma. He was a law clerk for Judge Alfred P. Murrah from 1969 to 1971. In 1971, he joined the faculty of the Oklahoma City University School of Law. He took a leave of absence in 1975 to serve as Chief of Staff for Oklahoma...

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LOU DEAN

Lou Dean is the author of countless articles in major magazines, three books of memoirs, and two young adult novels. She has received a Colorado Blue Spruce nomination, a Top Hand Award from the Colorado Author's League, and a prestigious Wrangler Award from The National Cowboy & Western...

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BETTY KATHERINE PALMETTER FALATO

Betty Katherine Palmetter Falato grew up in Earlsboro, Oklahoma, in Pottawatomie County. She holds a bachelor’s in mathematics and a master’s in human relations from the University of Oklahoma, and a master’s in civil engineering from the University of California at Berkeley.

During her...

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GINNY JOHNSTON GORESEN

Ginny Johnston Goresen was born and raised in Blackwell. Her grandparents and parents were members of the Blackwell business community. Her grandparents owned Peddicord Jewelry, her mother owned the Pollyanna Clothing Store, and her father practiced law in Blackwell.

After graduating from...

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MIKE GUNDY

Mike Gundy qualifies as "Mr. Cowboy" as he has played, coached as an assistant, and is currently the head football coach at Oklahoma State University. He will soon be the winnings football coach in OSU history. The All-State quarterback from Midwest City took his talents to OSU where, along...

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PATI HAILEY

Pati Hailey was born in San Francisco, California, but has lived most of her life in Oklahoma. She writes both fiction and non-fiction and has published articles in newspapers and magazines, including Cricket and Hopscotch. Her first book for children was Te Ata: Oklahoma Cultural Treasure....

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JOHN HERSLEY

John Hersley, a native of West Texas, was Primary Case Agent for the FBI in the Oklahoma City bombing investigation. He was responsible for managing the FBI’s case against Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols and participated at counsel table during both trials in federal court in Denver, Colorado....

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JOE HIGHT

Joe Hight is a journalist, writer, and educator. His nonfiction book, Unnecessary Sorrow, was released in the fall of 2019, and Our Greatest Journalists: Fifty Years of the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame celebrates the contributions of our state’s journalists and their role in furthering the...

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GWENDOLYN HOOKS

Gwendolyn Hooks is the author of many books for children including Porpoises in Peril and The Pet Club Stories series. She also has a non-fiction science series about food webs. Hooks has written for a South Korean publisher and an English publisher. Some of her books have been translated into...

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SARAH EPPLER JANDA

Sarah Eppler Janda is a Professor of History at Cameron University in Lawton, Oklahoma where she has been teaching since 2001. She received a bachelor’s degree in history and philosophy in 1996, a master’s degree in history in 1999 and a Ph.D. in history in 2002 from the University of Oklahoma,...

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JANE JAYROE

Jane Jayroe is the author of several inspirational books, including Devote Forty Days, More Grace than Glamour (with Bob Burke), and Oklahoma III (with David Fitzgerald). She is the founder and director of a successful luncheon series for Oklahoma women called “Esther Women.” Jayroe’s career...

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ROBERT M. “BOB” JOHNSON

Robert M. "Bob" Johnson, a Thomas, Oklahoma native, attended Oklahoma State University and the University of Oklahoma College of Law, earning Bachelors and Juris Doctor degrees respectively. He served in the United States Army, awarded The Distinguished Graduate

Award and The Leadership...

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CATHY KEATING

Cathy Keating is a fourth-generation Oklahoman with a focus on community service. While First Lady she planned and organized the International Prayer Service and published In Their Name, which was listed on the New York Times bestseller list, following the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal...

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FRANK KEATING

Frank Keating grew up in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and received his undergraduate degree from Georgetown University and a law degree from the University of Oklahoma.

His 30-year career in law enforcement and public service included service as an FBI agent, U.S. Attorney and state prosecutor, and...

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JO ANN KESSEL

Jo Ann Kessel, an Oklahoma Choctaw, received her Associate of Arts at Christian College in Columbia, Missouri, and Bachelor of Arts and Master of Social Work degrees from the University of Oklahoma. She worked with children and families in adoption, foster care, parenting classes, and school...

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RYAN LEONARD

Ryan Leonard is a fourth-generation native of Beaver in the Oklahoma Panhandle. An attorney and avid historian, Leonard began his career as a Legislative Assistant to U.S. Senator Don Nickles in Washington, D.C., returned to Oklahoma to serve as a state prosecutor in Canadian County, and...

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LARRY A. LEWIS

Larry A. Lewis, born in Oklahoma City, graduated from Oklahoma State University and Georgetown University Law Center. For 44 years he has served as an attorney representing public school districts in Oklahoma and authored several books about education law for school administrators.

With a...

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PATTI LOUGHLIN

Patti Loughlinis Professor of History and Chair of the Department of History and Geography at the University of Central Oklahoma. She serves on the board of directors of the Oklahoma Historical Society and participates as a scholar in the Oklahoma Humanities Let’s Talk About It Oklahoma book...

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JANE McKELLIPS

Jane McKellips lived in Oklahoma all her life. After receiving her Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Elementary Education from Southwestern Oklahoma State University, she was an elementary school teacher for four years. Then she began working as a piano teacher and freelance writer. Her...

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KIM PARRISH

Kim Parrish earned a J. D. from Oklahoma City University School of Law, M.P.A. from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, and B.S. from Oklahoma State University

After serving as an Oklahoma County Assistant District Attorney, Judge Parrish was in private practice for...

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BRAD ROBISON

Brad Robison has served as a volunteer for the Oklahoma City National Memorial since1997 and in 1998 began working as an archivist. In 2000 Robison developed a library/information center dedicated to preparedness and prevention of terrorism for the Memorial Institute for the Prevention of...

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CHERYL SCHUERMANN

Cheryl Schuermann is a reading specialist and published author. She taught school for many years and now works as an education consultant. Schuermann wants every student she meets to love reading and learning. When she is not in schools or writing, she can be found having fun with her thirteen...

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MARSHALL SNIPES

Marshall Snipes is an insurance executive who lives in Oklahoma City. He has chaired and managed many political campaigns, including the successful Mickey Edwards’ campaigns for Congress in the 1970s. He has held many positions in the Republican Party, including chair of the Oklahoma County...

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GARY SPARKS

Gary Sparks was born in Murphy, North Carolina. He lived most of his early years east of the Mississippi River, graduating from high school in Jasper, Alabama.

Sparks moved to Sand Springs, Oklahoma, in 1960 to work on the Keystone Dam. During that summer he met a young man attending...

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LARRY TONGATE

Larry Tongate, a native of Texas, was co-case agent of the Alfred P. Murrah Building bombing investigation and took part in the federal trials of Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols. In 1998, he was presented he Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service for his work in the bombing case....

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KARI WATKINS

Kari Watkins, a third-generation journalist and Cleveland, Oklahoma native, became the Oklahoma City National Memorial’s first staff member in 1996. Three years later she was named Executive Director, overseeing the design competition for the for the Memorial, the building of the Museum, and the...

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