Acclaimed Best Selling Author
Les Standiford is the author of twenty-five books and novels, including the works of non-fiction, Last Train to Paradise: Henry Flagler and the Spectacular Rise & Fall of the Railroad that Crossed an Ocean (a NY Times Best-Seller, History Channel Top Ten Pick & the One Read choice of more than a dozen public library systems), Meet You in Hell: Andrew Carnegie, Henry Clay Frick and the Bitter Partnership that Transformed America (a NY Times Best-Seller), Washington Burning: How a Frenchman’s Vision for Our Nation’s Capitol Survived Congress, the Founding Fathers and the Invading British Army (the latter two both publisher’s nominees for the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Awards), The Man Who Invented Christmas: Charles Dickens and the Writing of A Christmas Carol (a new York Times Editors Choice), Bringing Adam Home: The Abduction that Changed America (a NY Times best-seller and Wall Street Journal #1 best-seller), Water to the Angels: William Mulholland, His Monumental Aqueduct & the Rise of Los Angeles, a featured alternate of the History Book Club, and, most-recently, Palm Beach, Mar-A-Lago & the Rise of America’s Xanadu (2019). In 2021, Public Affairs Presspublished Battle for the Big Top: P.T. Barnum, James Bailey, John Ringling & the Death-Defying Saga of the American Circus. That book was named winner of the Gold Medal for General Non-Fiction by the 2021 Florida Book Awards.
He is also the author of ten novels, including eight books in the well-received John Deal mystery series. He has received the Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Award, the Frank O'Connor Award for Short Fiction, and Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities. He has served as Founding Director of the Creative Writing Program at the University of Texas at El Paso from 1973 to 1985 and since 1985 as Professor of English and Founding Director of the Creative Writing Program at Florida International University in Miami. He is a former screenwriting fellow and graduate of the American Film Institute in Los Angeles. He was holder of the Peter Meinke Chair in Creative Writing at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg for the Spring of 2016. In 2018, he was named Distinguished University Professor at FIU.