James McGrath Morris a biographer and writer of narrative non-fiction. He is currently writing a biography of writer Tony Hillerman, the author of ground-breaking mysteries set in the Navajo Nation.
Aside from his last book The Ambulance Drivers: Hemingway, Dos Passos, and A Friendship Made and Lost in War, Morris’s books include the New York Times Bestselling Eye on the Struggle: Ethel Payne, The First Lady of the Black Press, which was awarded the Benjamin Hooks National Book Prize; Pulitzer: A Life in Politics, Print, and Power—which the Wall Street Journal deemed was one of the five best books on American moguls and Booklist placed on its 2010 list of the ten best biographies; The Rose Man of Sing Sing: A True Tale of Life, Murder, and Redemption in the Age of Yellow Journalism—a Washington Post Best Book of the Year; and, Jailhouse Journalism: The Four Estate Behind Bars.
He is also the author of the Kindle Singles Revolution by Murder: Emma Goldman, Alexander Berkman, and the Plot to Kill Henry Clay Frick. and The Radio Operator: Robert Ford’s Last Stand in the Fight to Save Tibet.
Morris has written extensively for newspapers and magazines, as well as some academic journals. Prior to becoming a full-time writer, he spent a decade as a journalist, a decade working in the book and magazine business, and a decade as a high school teacher.
He is the former president of Biographers International Organization, of which he was among the original founders. In 2019 he received the BIO Award, which is given to a writer who has made a major contribution to the advancement of the art and craft of biography. Previous winners, among others, include: Jean Strouse, Robert Caro, Arnold Rampersad, Ron Chernow, Stacy Schiff, Taylor Branch, and Candice Millard.
Morris earned his bachelor’s degree from American University and his master’s from George Washington University.
Morris lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico with his wife Patty McGrath Morris.