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Tony Hillerman

Tony Hillerman

Tony Hillerman was one of the most celebrated American authors of the 20th century, best known for his mystery novels set on the Navajo Nation. Born in Sacred Heart, Oklahoma, in 1925, Hillerman served in the United States Army during World War II before earning a degree in journalism from the University of Oklahoma.

Hillerman's literary career began in the 1960s with several non-fiction books about the Navajo and Hopi peoples. His first novel, "The Blessing Way," was published in 1970 and introduced readers to his most enduring character, Navajo Police Sergeant Jim Chee.

Over the next few decades, Hillerman wrote a series of bestselling novels featuring Chee, as well as fellow Navajo Tribal Police Officer Joe Leaphorn. In addition to their gripping mysteries, Hillerman's books were celebrated for their vivid portraits of Navajo culture and landscapes, and for the author's deep respect and admiration for the people he wrote about.

Hillerman's many honors and awards included the Edgar Allan Poe Award, the Agatha Award, and the Grand Master Award from the Mystery Writers of America. In 2008, he was posthumously awarded the Tony Hillerman Prize, a literary award established in his honor to recognize emerging writers of tribal communities across the United States.

In addition to his distinguished writing career, Hillerman was an accomplished journalist, professor, and editor. He taught journalism at the University of New Mexico, and was editor of the New Mexican, a daily newspaper in Santa Fe.

Tony Hillerman passed away in 2008, leaving behind a legacy of exceptional writing, cultural discovery, and creative inspiration. His books continue to be beloved by readers around the world, and his influence on the mystery genre and beyond will be felt for generations to come.

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