Mark Twain Biographer to Speak at WWU

Ron Powers, author of one of the finest biographies on Mark Twain, will speak at William Woods University April 21, marking the 100th anniversary of Twain’s death.

Ron Powers

The talk, which is free and open to the public, is part of the President’s Concert and Lecture Series. It will be held at 7 p.m. in Cutlip Auditorium of the McNutt Campus Center.


A 1963 graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism, Powers is a journalist and author of many critically acclaimed books. They include “Mark Twain: A Life” (Free Press 2006), a New York Timesbestseller and finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award.


With James Bradley, Powers wrote “Flags of Our Fathers,” the #1 New York Times bestseller in 2000, which was adapted into a major motion-picture directed by Clint Eastwood and produced by Steven Spielberg.


The book and film recount the story of Bradley’s father, John, one of the six Americans who raised the flag on Iwo Jima. Joe Rosenthal’s Associated Press photograph of the event became what is widely considered the most enduring image of World War II.


Most recently Powers collaborated with the late Senator Edward M. Kennedy on his memoirs, “True Compass,”published in September 2009.


His other books include “Tom and Huck Don’t Live Here Anymore,” “Dangerous Water: A Biography of the Boy Who Became Mark Twain,” and “Last Flag Down: The Epic Journey of the Last Confederate Warship,” with John Baldwin. 


Powers received the Pulitzer Prize in criticism while on the staff of the Chicago Sun-Times, and has contributed to leading magazines and newspapers including the New York Times Book Review, Atlantic MonthlyandSmithsonian.


The President’s Concert and Lecture Series was created by William Woods University to encourage student and community participation in educational and cultural events.


For more information, contact Brenda Foster at (573) 592-4219 or