Thomas J. Dygard was editor of The Traveler during the 1952-53 school year. He was drawn to newspaper work while still in high school, working first on his school paper and then as an apprentice in the sports department of the Arkansas Gazette. He attended Little Rock University before transferring to the University of Arkansas. During college, he continued covering sports for the Gazette, writing about football, baseball, basketball, boxing, golf and tennis among other sports.
While in school, he married Patricia Reddit, and they had two children, Thomas and Nancy.
After graduation, he worked as a reporter for the Associated Press in Little Rock and later for AP bureaus in Detroit, Birmingham, and New Orleans. He eventually returned to Little Rock as bureau chief and then to subsequent similar positions in bureaus at Indianapolis, Chicago, and Tokyo. He retired from the Associated Press in 1993 and began writing fiction for young adults:
For me, writing fiction is fun, relaxing, and satisfying -- an enjoyable change of pace, a recharging of the batteries. ... I did not set out to write for young people. Looking back, I think it was something of a blessing that I did not. As I wrote Running Scared, I imagined the reader as an adult, but after it was finished, it seemed more appropriate for young readers. The result, I think, was that the story did not talk down to teenagers. In every book I've written since, I've tried to keep the same approach."
HarperChildrens.com. http://www.harperchildrens.com/catalog/author_xml.asp?authorid=16333 accessed on January 20, 2005.