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Sample Autograph Signature: Tony Hillerman

American award-winning and bestselling author of detective novels and non-fiction. Tony Hillerman was born on a farm in 1925 in Sacred Heart, Oklahoma where he was raised among the Pottawatomie and Seminole Indians, and also attended a boarding school for Native American girls before entering high school. Graduating in 1942, he briefly attended college before returning to farming after his father's death. In 1943, Hillerman joined the U. S. Army and earned the Silver Star, the Bronze Star, and a Purple Heart. Discharged in 1945, he received a B. A. in 1948 from the University of Oklahoma. From 1948-1952, he worked in a variety of journalist positions in Texas and Oklahoma before ending his journalistic career as a political reporter and then editor for the Santa Fe New Mexican in 1963. That same year he began graduate work in English at the University of New Mexico, received his M. A. in 1966, and then joined their journalism faculty. Hillerman taught there until 1987, serving as department chair from 1976-81. Hillerman's first novel, The Blessing Way, appeared in 1970. Thereafter he has written numerous mystery novels set in the Four Corners area of New Mexico and Arizona whose protagonists are Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee of the Navajo tribal police. In the early 1970s he did write several novels on other themes including two for children, The Boy Who Made Dragonfly and Buster Misquite's Cowboy Bond. Hillerman's non-fiction includes works about the natural wonders of the his Southwest, his appreciation of its people (particularly Native Americans), a history of American detectives stories, and several anthologies. Worth special note are The Tony Hillerman Companion: A Comprehensive Guide to His Life and Work (1994) co-authored with Martin Greenberg (1994) and Seldom Disappointed: A Memoir (2001). Tony Hillerman is past president of Mystery Writers of America and has received their Edgar and Grand Master Awards. Among Hillerman's numerous other honors are the Center for the American Indian's Ambassador Award, the Silver Spur Award for the best novel set in the West, the Navajo Tribe's Special Friend Award, the National Media Award from the American Anthropological Association, the Public Service Award from the U. S. Department of the Interior, the Nero Wolfe Award, the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Oklahoma Center for the Book, an honorary life membership in the Western Literature Association, the Grand Prix de Littérature Policiére, The Malice Domestic 2002 Lifetime Achievement Award, and the 2001 Agatha for Best Nonfiction Book of the Year for Seldom Disappointed: A Memoir. He has also been elected to Phi Beta Kappa, and awarded Doctor of Humane Letters at Arizona State University and Oregon's Portland State University.

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