James A. Michener (1907-1997) graduated from Swarthmore College and continued his studies at many institutions at home and abroad. His first book, Tales of the South Pacific, was published when he was forty. In the course of the next forty-five years Mr. Michener would write such monumental best-sellers as Sayonara,The Bridges of Toko-Ri, Hawaii, The Source, Iberia, The Covenant, Centennial, Chesapeake, Space, Texas, Alaska, Poland, Caribbean and Tales of the Pacific, which was the basis for the musical SOUTH PACIFIC written by Rodgers & Hammerstein with Joshua Logan. Decorated with America's highest civilian award, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, Mr. Michener served on the Advisory Council to NASA, the Postal Committee and the operating committee for the U.S. radio network broadcasting to the former U.S.S.R. and its satellites. He held honorary doctorates in five fields from thirty leading universities and received an award from the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities for his continuing commitment to the arts in America.
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