Dallas 1963


By Bill Minutaglio

By Steven L. Davis

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In the months and weeks before the fateful November 22nd, 1963, Dallas was brewing with political passions, a city crammed with larger-than-life characters dead-set against the Kennedy presidency. These included rabid warriors like defrocked military general Edwin A. Walker; the world’s richest oil baron, H. L. Hunt; the leader of the largest Baptist congregation in the world, W.A. Criswell; and the media mogul Ted Dealey, who raucously confronted JFK and whose family name adorns the plaza where the president was murdered. On the same stage was a compelling cast of marauding gangsters, swashbuckling politicos, unsung civil rights heroes, and a stylish millionaire anxious to save his doomed city.

Bill Minutaglio and Steven L. Davis ingeniously explore the swirling forces that led many people to warn President Kennedy to avoid Dallas on his fateful trip to Texas. Breathtakingly paced, Dallas 1963 presents a clear, cinematic, and revelatory look at the shocking tragedy that transformed America. Countless authors have attempted to explain the assassination, but no one has ever bothered to explain Dallas-until now.

With spellbinding storytelling, Minutaglio and Davis lead us through intimate glimpses of the Kennedy family and the machinations of the Kennedy White House, to the obsessed men in Dallas who concocted the climate of hatred that led many to blame the city for the president’s death. Here at long last is an accurate understanding of what happened in the weeks and months leading to John F. Kennedy’s assassination. Dallas 1963 is not only a fresh look at a momentous national tragedy but a sobering reminder of how radical, polarizing ideologies can poison a city-and a nation.

Winner of the PEN Center USA Literary Award for Research Nonfiction
Named one of the Top 3 JFK Books by Parade Magazine.
Named 1 of The 5 Essential Kennedy assassination books ever written by The Daily Beast.
Named one of the Top Nonfiction Books of 2013 by Kirkus Reviews.


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DALLAS 1963 is not meant to address the many conspiracy theories surrounding the murder of President Kennedy. Our aim is to introduce and then connect the outsize characters and the singular climate in a city that many blamed for killing a president.

Our book begins in early 1960 and ends in late 1963. A product of years of research, the work is informed by access to thousands of pages of archival material, thousands of documents released to the authors by the federal government, along with oral histories, local police reports, eyewitness accounts, interviews, newspaper and magazine accounts, unreleased photographs, dissertations, and film footage. The narrative is constructed with an acute eye toward accountability, toward documenting all the sources in the hundreds of footnotes. The book has been carefully scrutinized by several independent readers to detect and erase any unintended suggestions of political bias.

In the end, Dallas 1963 is an exploration of how fear and unease can take root, how suspicions can emerge in a seemingly orderly universe. How, as Flannery O'Connor wrote, Everything That Rises Must Converge.

How no one—including a doomed president—could have understood the full measure of the swirling forces at work in a place called Dallas.

Bill Minutaglio & Steven L. Davis

Texas, 2013

Photograph by Shel Hershorn. Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.


On a perfectly languorous Southern California day in September 1959, the bald-headed and bellicose leader of the Soviet Union seems to be bursting out of his skin. Things went so well with Frank Sinatra, but this is no good… no good at all.

Nikita Khrushchev can't get into Disneyland.

Until now, his history-making tour of the United States has been a delicate balance of mirth and diplomacy. He met with President Dwight Eisenhower and he spoke to a group of senators, including John Kennedy of Massachusetts, who has been busy plotting his chances for the presidency. He visited New York City, where over three thousand policemen protected him from the mostly curious, but occasionally angry onlookers.

Then he traveled the country—and it was great fun reaching out to clasp hands with a grinning Sinatra on the movie set for Can-Can. He even ogled Marilyn Monroe at a star-studded Hollywood luncheon, although another actor, Ronald Reagan, refused to meet with him, saying, "I believe that to sit socially and break bread with someone denotes friendship, and certainly I feel no friendship for Mr. Khrushchev."1

Khrushchev laughed while listening to Shirley MacLaine speaking Russian and then merrily rebuffed her teasing entreaties to dance. Days into his two-week trip, he seemed almost amused with America, with people scrambling to catch a glimpse of him. And perhaps he also sensed what some reporters were suggesting as they filed their stories about the first-ever visit to America by a Soviet head of state. That despite his wide smile, his five-foot-tall fire-hydrant physique, he carried a careening air of impending danger… maybe violence.

Right now Khrushchev is glowering. His aides are huddling, quietly conferring and then relaying the same bad news to him over and over again: He is not going to be allowed into Disneyland. The police have said they cannot guarantee his safety. Someone already hurled an overripe tomato at him during his Los Angeles motorcade. Worse could happen. Khrushchev, frowning and fuming, is incredulous that he could be killed inside an American theme park.

"I have been told I couldn't go to Disneyland," he sneers. "Why not? What is it? Maybe you have rocket-launching pads there?"2

In Dallas, businessmen in their long, fine Neiman Marcus woolen overcoats stop at the Commerce Street newsstand to pick up copies of the morning paper. In the many weeks following the Soviet leader's visit, they have grown accustomed to scanning the headlines for more unnerving news about the snarling Russian bear—and about the thousand other howling uncertainties that once seemed so far removed from the city gates.

With papers folded and tucked under their arms, shivering men troop along the dark, chilly downtown streets toward the humming oil companies, the quietly efficient insurance firms, and the wood-paneled bank towers. Overhead, there is at least one reassuring glow: a fiery red Pegasus—the giant, rotating, neon sculpture that serves as the city's sentinel atop the majestic Magnolia Oil Building.

But for the last several weeks the calm, the soothing confidence often found inside some parts of Dallas, has become as elusive as smoke.

The Dallas Morning News reads like a litany of unease. Back in the Soviet Union, Khrushchev is making ominous claims about his nation's power: "I am emphasizing once more that we already possess so many nuclear weapons… should any madman launch an attack on our state or on other socialist states, we would literally be able to wipe the country or countries that attack us off the face of the Earth."

And in the United States, Richard Nixon and John Kennedy are beginning their sharp-edged joust for the presidency. For some, the future of the world might just be at stake. Nixon has already stood up to Khrushchev in Moscow at their "Kitchen Debate." He is even hinting he will be more muscular than President Eisenhower when it comes to confronting communists. But Kennedy seems more deliberative, even cautious, when dealing with the Soviet menace—he says that only peace will breed freedom abroad.

"There are no magic policies of liberation," Kennedy insists. "This is no longer an age when minutemen with muskets can make a revolution. The facts of the matter are that, no matter how bitter some feelings may be, or how confident some are of a victorious war for liberation—freedom behind the Iron Curtain and world peace are inextricably linked."3

At almost the exact same time, a lean young ex-soldier named Lee Harvey Oswald is being personally welcomed by the mayor of Minsk and rewarded with both an apartment and a job. Oswald has left everything that he once knew in Texas so he can begin a new life in the Soviet Union. As the first U.S. Marine to ever defect to the Russians, Oswald expects that he will now be regarded as an important person, that he will finally receive the respect he deserves. Maybe, too, things will become more logical and clear in the Soviet Union than in his corner of Texas.

In the cozy shambles of Sol's Turf Bar downtown, more Dallas businessmen swap theories over pastrami sandwiches and cold bottles of Lone Star beer. A nervous electricity is in the air—scrambling chatter about Eisenhower losing Cuba to the communists, atomic weapons and Soviet rockets to the moon, civil rights protesters, Red China, Supreme Court orders for Dallas to integrate its schools, and the presidential jockeying by Kennedy, Nixon, and Lyndon B. Johnson.

But there is something else building in the conversations—and not just the ones held downtown, but also those in the houses of worship, the sprawling mansions, and the universities across Dallas. In key corners of the city, an urgent confederacy of persuasive, often powerful men is forming. Ministers, publishers, congressmen, generals, and oilmen are meeting—at first informally, and then by clear design—and coming to the same conclusions: Dallas and America are in danger. The East Coast liberals, the big-city Catholics, and the government-loving socialists are sapping the faith and eroding the bedrock of the Republic, weakening the country in the face of a very clear communist onslaught. It isn't paranoia. It is real—and too many people are turning a blind eye to the threats.

The members of this small, strong-minded set of citizens are hastily reinforcing each other—and insisting that Dallas should be the staging ground for the battles to protect the United States against all this unraveling, all this unholy unthreading of American traditions.

It is unlike anything in the history of the country: A handful of people in a seemingly staid city begin to set the stage for one of the greatest tragedies in American history. And on that stage will appear Dallas's most famous residents: the richest man in the world, the leader of one of the largest religious congregations in the country, a once revered military general, one of the nation's influential publishers, and the most ideologically rigid member of Congress—all joining forces in what seems to them nearly a second Civil War, a righteous crusade to define and defend all that America stands for.

Marooned in an outpost of super-patriotism, their first, cautionary discussions begin to morph into a cacophony of anger. And with it comes the beginning of a feverish march led by this citizen army… a march that will begin in earnest in the first days of 1960 and that will only subside, temporarily, in the bleak, waning days of November 1963.

As 1960 looms, several Southern states and cities—including Dallas—are still brazenly defying the Supreme Court's Brown v. Board decision, refusing federal orders to integrate schools.

Everyone knows that just three years earlier, the governor of Arkansas ordered the men in his National Guard to surround a high school in the state capital of Little Rock and block nine Negro students from joining two thousand white ones. The troops were reinforced by a mob waving Confederate flags and lustily singing "Dixie." Residents rushed to stockpile guns and bullets. A car loaded with dynamite was stopped just one block short of the home where the black children and their parents were meeting. The governor had even issued a warning to the nation: "Blood will run in the streets."4

Finally, an anxious President Eisenhower unleashed "Operation Little Rock"—sending in an occupying army of battle-hardened federal soldiers led by Major General Edwin Walker, a tall, stiff-backed World War II hero who had grown up on a two-thousand-acre Texas ranch. Walker's men dogtrotted through Little Rock's streets, forcibly dispersing the civilians with bayonets clipped to the ends of their M1 rifles. Four platoons provided cover as the Negro students were escorted up the front steps of the school. The tense standoff came to an immediate end. Walker had broken down segregation in the soul of the South. Instantly, the national press praised him as a shining example of how Americans will fight for what is right.

But what wasn't reported in the dispatches from the domestic front lines was Walker's aching, private anguish in the wake of the history-making moment—and the way the uncompromising Texan saw America spiraling out of control as it lurched toward 1960.

Walker, like General Robert E. Lee before him, forever wanted to be loyal to the Union. But in the weeks and months after Arkansas, building toward the dawn of the new decade, he was increasingly worried that his country was becoming divided in stark, absolute terms. In Lee's time, the abolitionists were the enemy. In Walker's time, it was the integrationists—and the liberals who blindly refused to believe that the United States was in grave danger of being undermined, even attacked, by the Soviet Union.

Walker had made a career following orders, but now, for the first time, he is deeply regretting his devotion to duty. He begins vaulting from ambivalence, to skepticism, to a sense of outrage.

And by 1960 he is becoming gratefully aware that he is not alone.

There are other super-patriots beginning to realize that so many of their countrymen are dulled to the wicked threats from inside and outside the nation. That carefully masked conspiracies are snaking into and through the United States, and accommodating and unsuspecting politicians in Washington seem clueless. Too many good, ordinary Americans have become complacent while a rash of socialist ideas are taking root and metastasizing like a cancer. From Social Security to fluoridated water to membership in the United Nations. And then there's the greatest threat of all: racial equality, spread by "communist" proponents like Martin Luther King Jr.

Walker makes discreet inquiries and soon learns that at least one group, the John Birch Society, also believes there is a bona fide conspiracy—not an ensemble of coincidences, but an organized effort that reaches the highest levels of government.

A dramatic, even frightening, thought blinks in Walker's mind: that even Dwight D. Eisenhower himself, the president of the United States, has lost his way, and is falling prey to the enemy—unknowingly becoming a "conscious, dedicated agent of the Communist Conspiracy."5

A burning idea persists with Walker: Eisenhower used federal troops—and used him—to forcibly integrate America. Walker had been used, by his own commanders, to unleash the very kinds of government-ordered social programming that would undermine the nation. In a stunning moment, Walker makes a fateful choice: He will abandon his abject loyalty to his superiors, including the president of the United States.

By 1960, the Texan has enlisted in the John Birch Society—and he feels welcome, at home, part of a spiritual awakening. The highly decorated general writes to the Birch Society founder: "I can foresee your movement… equal only in magnitude to Christ's teaching through the Apostles to heathens."6

In time, his devotion to the movement, to protecting America, will lead him directly to Dallas. And he will be far from alone.

By the dawn of the 1960s, more and more super-patriots will come from around the nation to Dallas—as if they have been summoned to join a war.



Over the brisk winter holiday, mailmen in Dallas are bundled against the biting winter chill as they place a series of carefully signed and rather unexpected cards into the mailboxes of the city's most influential residents—men living on the exquisitely manicured, tree-lined streets that filter north of the tall downtown buildings.

The front of the card features a crisp photograph of an attractive young family: A handsome, vigorous-looking man is seated in a comfortable chair, book-lined shelves visible behind him. His face is creased into a charming smile, and his posture projects an easy and sanguine confidence. Perched on his lap is his ebullient daughter, peering down at an open book. Standing behind him is his elegantly attired wife, leaning over her well-dressed husband and child. Her manner seems more reserved, nearly brooding. A strand of pearls frames her long neck. She is very attractive but appears as remote as a silent screen star.

The portrait of this young family radiates a sense of dynastic ease, of a kind of practiced and inherited status. On the inside of the card is the raised, gold-embossed Great Seal of the United States: the fierce eagle clutching an olive branch in one talon and thirteen arrows in the other.

Below the seal appears a message: "Wishing you a Blessed Christmas and a New Year filled with happiness. Senator and Mrs. John F. Kennedy."

Each of the cards has been signed in the same careful handwriting: "Best—Jack."

Many of the people in Dallas are startled at the impressive, personalized card. Most of them have never met Kennedy. Many have never ventured into the Kennedy orbits on the East Coast—nor would they ever want to. In the powerful parts of Dallas, there is a mixture of old Southern families and the nouveau riche. And now, in the last few years, the oil money is flowing furiously into this New South city—sometimes seemingly despite men like Kennedy, despite the Northeastern establishment, despite the long and controlling reach of Washington.

Alongside the older mansions, there are newer thirty-room Taj Mahals where even the toilets are made with gold leaf. The most lavish store in the city, Neiman Marcus, specializes in making millionaires' dreams come true—it is preparing to debut its newest gift idea: His and Hers airplanes. People are flying out of Dallas's Love Field to New Orleans for lunch at Antoine's, or to Lake Tahoe to mingle with Frank Sinatra at the Cal Neva Resort. Or to Las Vegas to play poker with Benny Binion—once the most celebrated purveyor of illicit pleasures to the rich in Dallas, now their host at the famous Horseshoe Casino.

But just a few minutes from the mansions in Dallas, there are also clusters of falling-down shacks, with no running water, settling into the gumbo-soil bottomlands. The city's schools, country clubs, and stores are still perfectly segregated… and bonded, through membership and memory, to ominous things that few speak about by name.

With the grand holiday cards from Kennedy in hand, the recipients place calls to friends. They learn that many others have received the very same greeting from Kennedy, not just in Dallas, but all over the country. Some must wonder if it is giving Kennedy some measure of satisfaction knowing that his cards are being talked about in a city like Dallas… in a place like Texas.

The Lone Star State is often like some rogue nation playing by its own political rules, as if it is about to secede and become its own country again. At the family retreat in Hyannis Port, at the place where the Kennedys feel most unfettered and clear-minded, Dallas probably seems at times like a place worth conceding, a place where there is more than just the usual political resistance to everything a Northern Catholic might embody. Some who have never been to Dallas summon up the easy stereotypes: It is where Bonnie and Clyde came from. Where big oilmen drive huge cars. A distant city populated by gun-slinging cowboys and snake-handling preachers.

Even if they don't succumb to those cartoon caricatures, the key advisers in the Kennedy inner circle surely share something: a raw sense of Dallas as an outpost for people particularly disconnected to the Kennedy family's very personality, religion, and principles. And John F. Kennedy himself no doubt knows that it will take far more than a soothing family photograph and a handsome, gilt-tinted holiday card to even begin to erode distrust in a place like Dallas.

One thing is clear this January. Kennedy is watching his major rival for the presidential nomination, Lyndon B. Johnson, the crafty Master of the Senate, the Texas boss who has gone below deck to run the Democratic Party machinery during the Eisenhower presidency. No one in party circles knows more about Texas, about Dallas, than Johnson. No one but Johnson has done more to help empower the men who really run things in Texas. For months now, Jack and his brother Bobby have watched and waited for the tall, clever Texan to make his move.

There are certainly windows of opportunity for Johnson. There are coalescing, angry forces in Dallas and throughout the South. There are governors, senators, and mayors still rallying to resist so many things: the revolutionary integration edicts ordered by the federal government, by the Supreme Court, by political forces in the North… as if a modern version of the Civil War is unfolding. But Johnson is coy, refusing to announce his plans. He is both cunning and wary—and wondering if the nation is really ready for a president from the South, from that alternately celebrated and reviled place called Texas.

While Johnson wavers, Kennedy decides to push forward.

He has been visiting every state in the nation. And he and his team have decided to mail those holiday cards, to have him personally sign thousands of them and send some straight to Dallas, straight to the heart of the American resistance.

On January 2, 1960, people in the city open their ultra-conservative morning newspaper and see the big story: John Fitzgerald Kennedy has announced that he is officially running for the White House.

Inside those three-story mansions with the curving driveways in the exclusive quarters of the city, people now understand exactly what Kennedy's lavish holiday greeting was all about. Later in the day, they are meeting, over coffee and eggs delivered by white-gloved black waiters in the private clubs downtown, and talking about the card—especially in light of the news.

It is both foolish and flattering: Kennedy wants Texas.

The Reverend W. A. Criswell, the burly and square-jawed pastor of the sprawling Dallas First Baptist Church, knows that the Lord God Almighty is providing him with a special blessing on this brisk initial Sunday in January 1960.

A brazen bigamist, the craggy and philandering Dallas oil mogul H. L. Hunt, is bowing before him and whispering in his unusually soft and cottony voice that he is ready at last to accept Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior… and Wallie Amos Criswell as his spiritual leader. Criswell looks down, staring at the large, oval-shaped man with the baby-soft skin and the snowy, thinning hair. It is a holy marriage—between the leader of the largest Baptist church in the world and the richest man in America.

At age fifty, Criswell weighs two hundred pounds and has short, slightly curling hair parted close to the middle of his large head. He has a broad face, thin lips, and narrow but piercing eyes. He prefers a dark tie, a white shirt, and a gray three-piece suit. Like the seventy-year-old Hunt, he emerged in a part of the nation where there was nothing even remotely akin to inherited wealth—where a desperate, hungry man usually only prospered by muscling his way forward without waiting for benevolent figures in Washington to lend a hand.

Criswell was born into wretched poverty near the sluggish Red River and the barren Texas-Oklahoma border, where tornadoes routinely scrape away at people's lives. Baptized in an old galvanized tub, he found his calling under flimsy revival tents, and waving his dog-eared Bible in dusty, hardscrabble villages like Muskogee and Mexia. People say he acquired a holy gift for bridging the Bible to the real world, for linking God's ancient words to today's headlines, for using the Bible as a literal tool to make sense of the news events people hear on the radio or see in the Dallas Morning News.

Lately, when he sits inside his expansive, book-lined office in his sprawling brick church, he remains obsessed with liberals and socialists in the Northeast—how the men in Washington want to change traditions, push integration. Too, he has deep, lingering suspicions about Roman Catholics—about whether they would be more devoted to the pope than to the American Constitution.

But when Criswell closes the door to his office and writes his fiery sermons, he knows one thing: He doesn't want to risk the kind of agonizing, national blowback he endured the last time he attacked some big sea changes in America.

Four years ago, the governor of South Carolina had insisted the nationally famous Dallas preacher come give a speech to the state legislature, and Criswell erupted in full-throated roar against integration and those Northern socialists: "The NAACP has got those East Texans on the run so much that they dare not pronounce the word 'chigger' anymore. It has to be Cheegro! Idiocy… Foolishness! Let them integrate! Let them sit up there in their dirty shirts and make all their fine speeches. But they are all a bunch of infidels, dying from the neck up! Let them stay where they are… but leave us alone!"1

The lawmakers were mesmerized as Criswell rocked on his feet and raised both of his hands to the heavens:

"They are not our folks. They are not our kind. They don't belong to the same world in which we live… There are people who are trying to force upon us a situation and a thing that is a denial of all that we believe in."

The news about his blistering rebukes reverberated around the country, and some of the fallout was disastrous. Baptist preachers hissed that he had gone too far—even if he was saying what many of them believed. But in Dallas, the mysterious oilman H. L. Hunt listened and heartily approved. Hunt and Criswell both knew that the growing civil rights movement was just a way for soft-willed intellectuals and liberals to supercharge socialism, and open the door to a steadfast campaign by communists to infiltrate America. Hunt admires the way Criswell attacks the enemy. He'd like to entrust his soul and his money to the preacher who says:

"Communism is a denial of God… communism is like a kingdom of darkness presided over by a prince of evil… the greatest challenge the Christian faith has ever faced in 2,000 years of history."2

Hunt can feel it. Criswell really understands who is leaving America so vulnerable: "The leftists, the liberals, the pinks and the welfare statists who are soft on communism and easy toward Russia."3

Evening is coming on, the January light is playing off the chilly waters of the Potomac River, and inside the House of Representatives chamber Congressman Bruce Alger can see his colleagues pushing out of their chairs and beginning to drift toward drinks and dinner with lobbyists. Still, this is something that the lawmaker from Dallas has to do, even if there is not a full audience.

The smoothly handsome and impeccably dressed Alger steps to the front of the House chamber. Some people say the Princeton-educated, forty-one-year-old could have been a movie star, that he bears a striking resemblance to the actor Gary Cooper. His shined hair is combed to perfection, and he walks with a straight, easy gait.

Confederate General Robert E. Lee's 153rd birthday will pass entirely without notice in the House of Representatives if not for Alger, the lone Republican in the Texas delegation and one of the most passionate conservatives in the nation. Invoking personal privilege, Alger begins a speech—his mellifluous voice rising and praising the legend and memory of the Confederate leader.

This should play very well in certain parts of Dallas. The city was once the national headquarters for the Ku Klux Klan. The city's famous Magnolia Building, once the tallest in the state and adorned with that giant sign of a glowing red Pegasus, was opened by a Grand Dragon of the KKK. A Dallas minister named R. E. Davis—someone well known to Dallas police—is claiming to be the new Imperial Wizard of the Original Knights of the KKK. He is saying ominously that he will combat integration and that "this Republic was founded by and in violence."4


  • "Bill Minutaglio and Steven L. Davis's DALLAS 1963 is a brilliantly written, haunting eulogy to John F. Kennedy. By exposing the hatred aimed at our 35th president, the authors demonstrates that America--not just Lee Harvey Oswald--was ultimately responsible for his death. Every page is an eye opener. Highly recommended!"—Douglas Brinkley, professor of history at Rice University and author of Cronkite
  • "All the great personalities of Dallas during the assassination come alive in this superb rendering of a city on a roller coaster into disaster. History has been waiting fifty years for this book."—Lawrence Wright, author of The Looming Tower and Going Clear
  • "Minutaglio and Davis capture in fascinating detail the creepiness that shamed Dallas in 1963."—Gary Cartwright, author and contributing editor at Texas Monthly
  • "In this harrowing, masterfully-paced depiction of a disaster waiting to happen, Minutaglio and Davis examine a prominent American city in its now-infamous moment of temporary insanity. Because those days of partisan derangement look all too familiar today, DALLAS 1963 isn't just a gripping narrative-it's also a somber cautionary tale."—Robert Draper, contributor, New York Times Magazine and author of Do Not Ask What Good We Do: Inside the U.S. House of Representatives
  • "The authors skillfully marry a narrative of the lead-up to the fateful day with portrayals of the Dixiecrats, homophobes, John Birchers, hate-radio spielers, and the 'superpatriots' who were symptomatic of the paranoid tendency in American politics."—Harold Evans, author of The American Century
  • "After fifty years, it's a challenge to fashion a new lens with which to view the tragic events of November 22, 1963--yet Texans [Minutaglio and Davis] pull it off brilliantly."—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
  • "Chilling... The authors make a compelling, tacit parallel to today's running threats by extremist groups."—Kirkus
  • "A thoughtful look at the political and social environment that existed in Dallas at the time of the president's election... a climate, the authors persuasively argue, of unprecedented turmoil and hatred."—Booklist

On Sale
Oct 21, 2014
Page Count
384 pages

Bill Minutaglio

About the Author

Bill Minutaglio is the author of several books, including Dallas 1963, for which he won the PEN Center USA Literary Award for Research Nonfiction with Steven L. Davis. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Washington Post, Newsweek, and Esquire.

Steven L. Davis is the PEN USA-award winning author of four books focusing on iconoclasts, including Dallas 1963 with Bill Minutaglio and J. Frank Dobie: A Liberated Mind. He is the president of the Texas Institute of Letters and a curator at the Wittliff Collections at Texas State University in San Marcos.

Learn more about this author