In 1989 he received the Pulitzer Prize for specialized reporting for investigative stories he wrote about the United States military for the Orange County Register. Afterward, he began writing non-fiction books.
Humes is the author of 13 nonfiction books, including the bestselling Mississippi Mud; No Matter How Loud I Shout; Baby E.R.; A Man and His Mountain; and Garbology, a popular selection for the First Year Experience program on college campuses.
In 2001, Humes spent a year teaching a writing workshop at Whitney High School in Cerritos, California, a middle-class Los Angeles suburb. His observations while at the school led to his narrative non-fiction book School of Dreams, published in 2004.
Humes is a contributing writer for Sierra Magazine, California Lawyer and Los Angeles Magazine, among other publications. He is married to journalist and author Donna Wares and lives in Southern California.
- Garbology: Our Dirty Love Affair with Trash Publisher: Avery (April 19, 2012) ISBN 978-1-58333-434-8 
- Humes, Edward (2007). Monkey Girl: Evolution, Education, Religion, and the Battle for America's Soul. Ecco/HarperCollins. ISBN 978-0-06-088548-9.
- Humes, Edward (2006). Over Here: How the G.I. Bill Transformed the American Dream. Harcourt. ISBN 0-15-100710-1.
- Humes, Edward (2004). School of Dreams : Making the Grade at a Top American High School. Harcourt/Harvest Books. ISBN 0-15-603007-1.
- Humes, Edward (2004). My California: Journeys by Great Writers. Angel City Press. ISBN 1-883318-43-2. (contributor)
- Humes, Edward (2004). Baby ER: The Heroic Doctors and Nurses Who Perform Medicine's Tiniest Miracles. Simon & Schuster. ASIN B000A9GLXG.
- Humes, Edward (2003). Mean Justice. Pocket. ISBN 0-671-03427-8.
- Humes, Edward (1997). No Matter How Loud I Shout: A Year in the Life of Juvenile Court. Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0-684-81195-2.
- Mississippi Mud: Southern Justice and the Dixie Mafia, Pocket, ISBN 0-671-53505-6, December 1, 1995
- Buried Secrets: A True Story of Serial Murder, New Amer Library, ISBN 0-451-17164-0
- Murderer With a Badge: The Secret Life of a Rogue Cop, E P Dutton, ISBN 0-525-93498-7, November 1, 1992
- Levinson, Marc (April 17, 2012). "At the Top of the Heap". The Wall Street Journal.
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