Ron J. Jackson, Jr.
Ron J. Jackson, Jr. is a bestselling author, historian, public speaker, and former award-winning journalist who has been writing professionally for 37 years. He is the author of numerous books, including the ground-breaking Joe, the Slave Who Became an Alamo Legend – winner of the prestigious Award of Merit for nonfiction from The Philosophical Society of Texas – Bebes and the Bear: Gene Stallings, Coach Bryant and Their 1968 Cotton Bowl Showdown; and Fight to the Finish: “Gentleman” Jim Corbett, Joe Choynski, and the Fight that Launched Boxing’s Modern Era.
Jackson is a fiercely proud California native who has enjoyed a storied career. In 1985, at age 18, he walked into his hometown newspaper (The Reporter) in Vacaville and declared he wanted to be a sports writer. Someone
gave him an opportunity – six hours a week to start, mainly filing photos and answering phones. He didn’t care. His foot sat wedged firmly in the door. Weeks later he walked into his first Major League Baseball clubhouse at the Oakland Coliseum, and at that moment, vowed to never look back. He doggedly dedicated himself to his craft for the next 25 years, switching to the news desk shortly after joining The Oklahoman in 1996.
Above all Jackson is a storyteller. Through his meticulous research and writing he has introduced readers to a fascinating array of historical figures and working-class heroes – both living and dead. Over the years he has interviewed people from all walks of life, including six world heavyweight champions, astronauts,
a secretary of state, governors, legendary athletes, and soldiers who survived the hell of war. His subjects have ranged from the first gloved World Heavyweight Champion “Gentleman” Jim Corbett to astronaut Eugene Cernan, the last man to walk on the moon.
Eventually, Jackson’s deep passion for American Western history took root. He signed his first book contract at age 27 to pen Alamo Legacy: Alamo Descendants Remember the Alamo – a 1997 release by Eakin Press that led to numerous literary adventures from the Mississippi River to the historic haunts of San Francisco. He is now a regular contributor to Wild West magazine, where he has reached into the fog of the past to write new chapters on unheralded frontier heroes, as well as such icons as Geronimo, President Theodore Roosevelt, Cheyenne Chief Black Kettle, and Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer. He is also a proud member of the Western Writers of America and has served as a consultant for History Channel.
Today, Jackson lives with his wife, Jeannia, on the Oklahoma prairie where he continues to dream and pursue his literary passions.