It has been said, “Reading a Michael Wallis book is like dancing to a romantic ballad. He offers his hand and gently guides you across the floor, swaying to the song of the American West.”
A best-selling author and award-winning reporter, Michael is a historian and biographer of the American West who also has gained international notoriety as a speaker and voice talent. In 2006 Michael’s distinctive voice was heard in CARS, an animated feature film from Pixar Studios. Michael also is featured in CARS 2, and will appear in CARS 3 released in June 2017.
A storyteller who likes nothing better than transporting audiences across time and space, Michael has published sixteen books, including Route 66: The Mother Road, the book credited with sparking the resurgence of interest in the highway. Michael’s two latest works — David Crockett: The Lion of the West, and The Wild West 365 —were published in 2011. Michael’s latest book — The Best Land Under Heaven: The Donner Party in the Age of Manifest Destiny — was published in June 2017.
His work has appeared in hundreds of national and international magazines and newspapers, including Time, Life, People, Smithsonian, The New Yorker, and The New York Times.
Michael has been nominated three times for the Pulitzer Prize and was also a nominee for the National Book Award. In 2016 he received an Emmy Award for his work in the documentary film, Boomtown. He has won many other prestigious honors, such as the Will Rogers Spirit Award, the Western Heritage Award from the National Cowboy Hall & Western Heritage Museum, the Oklahoma Book Award from the Oklahoma Center for the Book, and the Best Western Non-fiction Award from the Western Writers of America.
Michael was inducted into the Writers Hall of Fame of America, the Missouri Writer’s Hall of Fame, the Oklahoma Professional Writer’s Hall of Fame, the Oklahoma Historians Hall of Fame, and the Tulsa Hall of Fame. He was also the recipient of the Arrell Gibson Lifetime Achievement Award as well as the Lynn Riggs Award and the first John Steinbeck Award.
Michael and his wife, Suzanne Fitzgerald Wallis, have lived in Tulsa since 1982.