NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR
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MEET JEFF SHAARA
Jeff Shaara, a descendant of Italian immigrants, was born in New Brunswick, New Jersey ("Shaara" was originally spelled "Sciarra"). He grew up in Tallahassee, Florida, and graduated from Florida State University with a degree in Criminology. From age 16, Jeff operated a rare coin business, first out of his home, then in a retail store. After moving to Tampa, Jeff became one of the most widely known coin and precious-metals dealers in Florida. 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 motion picture "Gettysburg" was released, which was based on his father's classic novel, The Killer Angels. After the critical and commercial success of the film, Jeff was approached about the possibility of continuing the story, finding someone to write a prequel and sequel to The Killer Angels. After some considerable soul-searching, Jeff decided to try to tackle the project himself. 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, and the book was awarded the American Library Association's Prestigious "Boyd Award". 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. Two years later, Jeff published his third novel, Gone For Soldiers, which followed many familiar Civil War characters back to their experiences in the Mexican-American War of the 1840's. Received with much critical acclaim, the book became Jeff's third bestseller.
Leaving the Civil War era behind, Jeff's next two novels, Rise To Rebellion and The Glorious Cause, took readers back to the American Revolution. The stories are told through the eyes of American history's most illustrious and significant characters. On July 4, 2001, after what was his second appearance on NBC's "Today Show", Rise to Rebellion reached #2 on Amazon.com.
Moving forward, Jeff then tackled the First World War. To The Last Man, released in 2004, was not only Jeff's sixth bestseller, but also received extraordinary praise from notable figures such as General Tommy Franks, Steve Forbes, and General Wesley Clark. In addition, To The Last Man was also awarded the American Library Association's "Boyd Award" for Excellence in Military Fiction. Jeff is the only author to have received two such awards.
In February, 2003, the major motion picture "GODS AND GENERALS", based on Jeff's first book, was released by Warner Brothers.
For some time, Jeff had been researching a different kind of project, which came to fruition in 2006. Jeff Shaara's Civil War Battlefields, his only non-fiction work, is a unique and personal tour across ten of this country's most valuable pieces of hallowed ground. All royalties from this book are being donated directly to battlefield preservation. (In 2007, Jeff was named to serve on the Board of Trustees for the Civil War Preservation Trust.)
Jeff's eighth book, The Rising Tide, was published in November 2006. The story is the first of a trilogy following an extraordinary cast of characters through the European theater of the Second World War. That book reached #8 on the New York Times bestseller list. The second in the series, The Steel Wave, follows key characters through the Normandy invasion. Released in May 2008, it was also a New York Times bestseller. The third of the trilogy, No Less Than Victory was released November 3, 2009. That story, Jeff's tenth book, moves to the end of the war in Europe, through the Battle of the Bulge and the fall of Hitler, and quickly became Jeff's ninth bestseller.
Jeff's eleventh book, titled The Final Storm, was released May, 2011. The book completes the WW2 series by telling the story of the end of the war in the Pacific (Okinawa and the Bomb). The book made its debut at #6 on the NY Times Bestseller list- Jeff's tenth bestseller.
Jeff's new series began with the release of "A BLAZE OF GLORY" in May 2012, the first of four books that will deal with the Civil War in the "west". The book, which covers the Battle of Shiloh, made its debut at #7 on the NY Times Bestseller List- Jeff's eleventh bestseller. The second volume, "A CHAIN OF THUNDER" , released May 21, 2013, became Jeff's twelfth bestseller, deals with the campaign and siege of Vicksburg. The next two works, featuring Chattanooga and the final campaigns of Sherman from Atlanta through the end of the war in the Carolinas, will be released a year apart. The first of those, "THE SMOKE AT DAWN" will be released June 3, 2014. The fourth book, yet to be titled, will be released late spring, 2015.
In the fall of 2011, Jeff was recognized twice by his alma mater, Florida State University. In September, he was inducted into their "College of Criminology Hall of Fame" and during Homecoming on November 19, he was awarded the school's FIRST annual "Distinguished Writer's Award". He has also received The Lincoln Forum's prestigious "Richard Nelson Current" award, and the "Bell I. Wiley" award from the New York Civil War Round Table.
After many years in Florida, New York City and the mountains of Montana, Jeff is in the process of building a house in his newly adopted "hometown" of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
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