Jeff Shaara was born in New Brunswick, New Jersey, and grew up in Tallahassee, Florida. He graduated from Florida State University in 1974, with a degree in Criminology. From age 16, Jeff operated a rare coin business, first out of his home, eventually becoming one of the country's most well-known rare coin and precious metals dealers. In 1988, Jeff's father, Michael Shaara died, and Jeff made the decision to sell his business and take over the management of his father's estate.
In 1993, the film Gettysburg was released, based on his father's classic Civil War novel The Killer Angels. Jeff was approached about the possibility of continuing the story, writing a prequel and sequel to The Killer Angels. After some considerable soul-searching, Jeff made the life-changing decision to tackle the project. The decision was difficult in many ways, but most challenging because Jeff had no previous experience as a writer.
In 1996, Ballantine Books published Jeff's first novel, Gods and Generals, the prequel to his father's great work. Gods and Generals leapt onto the New York Times Bestseller List, and remained there for fifteen weeks. Critics nationwide praised the book and Jeff's writing ability. No one was more surprised than Jeff himself. In 1998, the sequel, The Last Full Measure, was published, with the same result: thirteen weeks on the New York Times Bestseller List, and universal praise from critics and fans nationwide. Moving away from the Civil War, Jeff published novels on the Mexican War (Gone For Soldiers), a two-book series on the American Revolution (Rise to Rebellion and The Glorious Cause) and the First World War (To The Last Man). He then tackled World War II, completing a trilogy of novels set during the European campaign, The Rising Tide, The Steel Wave, and No Less Than Victory, and now, a fourth and concluding volume, The Final Storm, which brings to a close the last great saga of the end of the war in the Pacific.
From his life-long appreciation of the American Civil War, Jeff penned his first non-fiction work: Jeff Shaara's Civil War Battlefields – Discovering America's Hallowed Ground. The book was released in April, 2006, receiving praise from both critics and historians, and all proceeds from the book have been donated directly to battlefield preservation.
To date, Jeff has penned nine consecutive New York Times Bestsellers, and is the only two-time recipient of the American Library Association's prestigious "William Young Boyd Award", for excellence in military fiction. He has also received the Lincoln Forum's cherished "Richard Nelson Current" Award, as well as the rarely-presented "Bell I. Wiley" award from the New York Civil War Roundtable. In 2000, the Florida State University Faculty Senate presented him with the university's "Artes" Award.
After many years living in New York City and the mountains of Montana, Jeff has returned to Florida, and lives with his wife Brenda in Tallahassee.
About the award and how to enter:
The annual Florida State University Alumni Award for Distinguished Writing recognizes a living and renowned Florida State University graduate for a distinguished and influential body of published work. This work can be academic, non-fiction, fiction, or a combination. The winner will be acknowledged at Homecoming and will be sponsored by the Friends of FSU Libraries and coordinated through the FSU Alumni Association.
- Nominees must be graduates of Florida State University.
- Publishers, agents, booksellers, or others knowledgeable about the writer’s accomplishments and influence may nominate candidates for the award. Multiple nominations of an individual may be submitted. Self-nominations will not be accepted.
- Submission requirements:
- Three (3) copies of the completed entry form;
- Three (3) copies of a resume listing the published work of the nominee;
- Three (3) copies of a 1,500-word narrative (12-point font, double-space) in which the nominator addresses the quality of the nominee’s published work and evidence of its distinction; and
- Three (3) copies of at least three of the nominee’s publications.
- Incomplete submissions received on or after the deadline will not be considered.
- A Jury consisting of three Florida State University senior faculty will select the Award winner.
DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSION IS JANUARY 30, 2012.
SEND ENTRIES TO:
President, Friends of the Florida State University Libraries
Robert Manning Strozier Library
116 Honors Way, Room 314
Florida State University
Tallahassee, FL 32306-2047
You may also download a Word document of the above information.