Ron Powers (born November 18, 1941) is an American journalist, novelist, and non-fiction writer. His works include White Town Drowsing: Journeys to Hannibal, Dangerous Water: A Biography of the Boy Who Became Mark Twain, and Mark Twain: A Life. With James Bradley, he co-wrote the 2000 #1 New York Times Bestseller Flags of Our Fathers. The book won the Colby Award the following year.
As TV and radio columnist for Chicago Sun-Times, Powers won the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism in 1973 for his critical writing about television during 1972. He was the first television critic to win the Pulitzer Prize.
In 1985, Powers won an Emmy Award for his work on CBS News Sunday Morning. In 1993 he completed a biography of Muppets creator Jim Henson that was scheduled to be published in October 1994, but after objections from the Henson family Random House declined to release it.
Powers was born in 1941 in Hannibal, Missouri — Mark Twain's hometown. Hannibal was influential in much of Powers' writing — as the subject of his book White Town Drowsing, as the location of the two true-life murders that are the subject of Tom and Huck Don't Live Here Anymore, and as the home of Mark Twain. Powers has said that his fascination with Twain — the subject of two of his books — began in childhood:
- "When I was a little boy in Hannibal, he was a mystic figure to me. His pictures and books and images were all over (my friend) Dulany Winkler's house, and I spent a lot of time there. I just wanted to reach out and touch him. Eventually I was able to."
In 2017, Powers published "No One Cares About Crazy People - The Chaos and Heartbreak of Mental Health in America", chronicling his sons' schizophrenia, and the family's experience of dealing with the American mental health system.
- The Newscasters: The News Business As Show Business. New York: St. Martin's Press. 1977. ISBN 0-312-57207-7.
- White Town Drowsing: Journeys to Hannibal. Boston: Atlantic Monthly Press. 1986. ISBN 0-871-13103-X.
- The Beast, the Eunuch, and the Glass-Eyed Child: Television in the '80s. San Diego: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. 1990. ISBN 0-312-26240-X.
- Far From Home: Life and Loss in Two American Towns. New York: Random House. 1991. ISBN 0-394-57034-0.
- The Cruel Radiance: Notes of a Prosewriter in a Visual Age. Middlebury, VT: Middlebury College Press. 1994. ISBN 0-874-51690-0.
- Dangerous Water: A Biography of the Boy Who Became Mark Twain. New York: Da Capo Press. 1999. ISBN 0-306-81086-7.
- Tom and Huck Don't Live Here Anymore: Childhood and Murder in the Heart of America. New York: St. Martin's Press. 2001. ISBN 0-312-26240-X.
- No One Cares About Crazy People: The Chaos and Heartbreak of Mental Health in America. Hachette. 2017. ISBN 978-0-316-34117-2.
- Robert Morgan and Ron Powers (2001). The Man Who Flew the Memphis Belle: Memoir of a WWII Bomber Pilot. New York: Dutton Adult. ISBN 0-525-94610-1.
- John Baldwin and Ron Powers (2007). Last Flag Down: The Epic Journey of the Last Confederate Warship. New York: Crown Publishers. ISBN 978-0-307-23655-5.
- "The Pulitzer Prizes for 1973". The Pulitzer Prize Board. Archived from the original on 2006-07-08. Retrieved 2006-12-20.
- "Pulitzer Prize for Criticism". NNDB. Retrieved 2006-12-19.
- Ron Powers (January 1, 2006). "In Depth with Ron Powers". In Depth (Interview). CSPAN. Retrieved 2006-12-19.
- https://www.nytimes.com/1994/09/21/books/book-notes-305243.html. Retrieved August 18, 2013.
- "Ron Powers". Mark Twain: A Look at the Life and Works of Samuel Clemens. The Hannibal Courier, Hannibal.net. Archived from the original on November 23, 2005. Retrieved 2006-12-23.
- Mary Lou Montgomery (June 2, 1999). "Powers writes about Twain's childhood". The Hannibal Courier.
- "Interview from Vermont Public Radio". Retrieved 2 October 2010.