Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  John William Jakes  

Pen Name: None


Audience: Adult;

Born: Chicago, Illinois

-- Website --
-- John William Jakes on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

Born in Chicago in 1932, John Jakes began writing professionally during his freshman year at Northwestern University, where he was studying acting. He decided to trade the stage for the typewriter when, at age 18, he sold his first story for $25.

Biographical and Professional Information

After completing school, Jakes spent his days writing copy for a large pharmaceutical corporation, then several advertising agencies, including Dancer Fitzgerald Sample, one of the world's largest. At night he wrote and published short stories--eventually 200 of them, along with some 60 books in genres such as mystery, western, and science fiction.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

North and South (North and South Trilogy Part One)
ISBN: 0451200810

Berkley. 2000

Part one of the #1 New York Times bestselling North and South Trilogy—the Civil War saga that inspired the classic television miniseries North and South—with over five million copies sold!

“An entertaining…authentic dramatization of American history.”—The New York Times

From master storyteller John Jakes comes the epic story of two families—the Hazards and the Mains. Separated by vastly different ways of life, joined by the unbreakable bonds of true friendship, and torn asunder by a country on the brink of a bloody conflict that will irrevocably change them all…

Love and War (North & South)
ISBN: 0451200829

Berkley. 2000

#1 New York Times bestselling author John Jakes presents part two of the epic North and South Trilogy—the Civil War saga that inspired the classic television miniseries North and South—with over five million copies sold!

“Massive, lusty, highly readable…A graphic, fast-paced amalgam of good, evil, love, lust, war, violence, and Americana.”—The Washington Post Book World

From the first shots at Fort Sumter, the Hazards and the Mains are divided against each other—and themselves. Some will experience the horrors of war on the front lines on some of the bloodiest battlefields of the Civil War. Some will give their lives for their beliefs. But all will be caught in the triumph and tragedy of a conflict that destroyed a country’s innocence—and forged a nation.

Heaven and Hell (North & South)
ISBN: 0451200837

Berkley. 2000

The exhilarating conclusion of #1 New York Times bestselling author John Jakes' epic North and South Trilogy—the Civil War saga that inspired the classic television miniseries North and South—with over five million copies sold!

The Civil War has ended, but the Hazards and Mains have yet to face their greatest struggles. Even as the embers of old hatreds continue to burn in the heart of a nation torn apart by war, a new future in the West awaits a new generation of Americans seeking a life of their own—and a place to call home. Filled with all of the vivid drama, passion, and action that has made John Jakes the acclaimed master of historical fiction, Heaven and Hell is the tumultuous final chapter in one of the greatest epics of our time.

Homeland (Historical Romance, Signet)
ISBN: 0451198425

Berkley. 1999

The lives and fortunes of the members of the Crown family--Paul his German-born uncle, Joseph Joseph's wife, Ilsa and their rebellious son, Joe--are set against the turbulent backdrop of 1890s Chicago. Reissue.

American Dreams
ISBN: 0451197011

Signet. 1999

From America's master storyteller and writer of historical fiction comes the epicstory of the Crown family--first introduced in the New York Times bestsellerHomeland. As the second generation comes of age, the Crowns strive to find theirplace in a turbulent America which stands at the dawn of a new century. From thespeedways of Detroit to the unbridled glamour of a young Hollywood, to the daringheights of early aviation--theirs is a story of passion and adventure, glory, andambition, with all the wonder, promise, and splendor of...American Dreams.

The Bold Frontier
ISBN: 0451204190

Berkley. 2001

From the author of such American epics as the Kent Family Chronicles and the North and South trilogy comes this special anthology of frontier fictionfeaturing three brand new stories and a special introduction by the author.

Crime Time: Mystery and Suspense Stories (Five Star First Edition Mystery Series)
ISBN: 0786231572

Five Star. 2001

Book by Jakes, John

ISBN: 0451207335

Berkley. 2003

Charleston follows the lives, loves and shifting fortunes of the unforgettable Bell family from the American Revolution through the turbulent antebellum years to the savage defeat of the Confederacy-and represents America's premier storyteller at his very best.

Savannah: Or a Gift for Mr. Lincoln
ISBN: 0451215702

Berkley. 2005

Georgia 1864: Sherman's army marches inexorably from Atlanta to the sea. In its path: the charming old city of Savannah, where the Lester ladies-attractive widow Sara and her feisty twelve-year-old daughter Hattie-struggle to save the family rice plantation. When Sherman offers the conquered city to President Lincoln as "a Christmas gift," Hattie and the feared general find themselves on a collision course that will astonish both of them.

The Gods of Newport
ISBN: 0451222342

Berkley. 2007

In the late nineteenth century, Newport, Rhode Island-with its giant marble mansions, lavish dinner parties, and vicious social climbing- is a summer playground of the very rich. Into this rarefied world comes infamous railroad mogul and robber baron Sam Driver. He wants his beautiful daughter to have the best Newport has to offer-even if that means breaking all the rules...


Porgie Award, 1977, for best books in a series

Ohioana Book Award for fiction, 1978, for "American Bicentennial" series

Friends of the Rochester Library Literary Award, 1983

Owen Wister Award for lifetime contribution to Western literature, Western Writers of America, 2007.

Speaking Engagements

Speaking Engagement Availability (No)