Jerry Bledsoe

Jerry Bledsoe

Jerry Bledsoe was born in Danville, Virginia, on July 15, 1941. He grew up in Thomasville, N.C., and was graduated from Thomasville High School in 1959. After spending three years in the U.S. Army, much of that time as a Special Forces psychological warfare specialist, Bledsoe became a newspaper reporter. He worked for the Kannapolis (N.C.) Daily Independent, The Greensboro Daily News (later News & Record), The Louisville Times, and The Charlotte Observer. For more than 20 years, he was a feature columnist for the Greensboro and Charlotte newspapers. His newspaper writing won numerous awards, including two National Headliner Awards and two Ernie Pyle Memorial Awards. The author of numerous books, including the New York Times #1 bestseller Bitter Blood, Bledsoe served as contributing editor of Esquire magazine from 1972 until 1975. Four of his other books have been bestsellers. His work also has appeared in other national publications, including the New York Times, The Washington Post, and New York magazine. Bledsoe's book Blood Games was made into the CBS Movie of the Week Honor Thy Mother in 1992, and Bitter Blood became the CBS mini-series In the Best of Families in 1994 (it now appears on the Lifetime Channel as Bitter Blood). Before He Wakes became a CBS movie of the week in December, 1998. His book The Angel Doll was made into a feature film starring Keith Carradine. It appeared for five Christmas seasons on the Movie Channel, was a Netflix pick, and is now available on DVD. The Angel Doll was the selection of three book clubs, was excerpted by Good Housekeeping, and was published in Japan and Germany. The sequel to The Angel Doll, A Gift of Angels, was published in October, 1999. Bledsoe is co-author with realist painter and designer Bob Timberlake of Partial to Home, A Memoir of the Heart, published in December, 1999. Death Sentence: The True Story of Velma Barfield's Life, Crimes and Execution was excerpted by Working Woman magazine, and was published in 1998. His following book, Death by Journalism?, a selection of two book clubs, was published in March, 2002. Bledsoe collaborated on two books with RF Micro Devices founder Jerry D. Neal, Fire in the Belly: Building a World-leading, High-tech Company from Scratch in Tumultuous Times, which appeared late in 2004, and Built on a Rock: A Memoir of Family, Faith, and Place, which was published in November 2005. In 1989, Bledsoe founded Down Home Press, which has published more than 120 titles, primarily non-fiction books about the Carolinas and the South. Bledsoe and his wife Linda live near Asheboro, N.C. They have one son, Erik, who is director of Creative Communications for the University of Tennessee and the author or two books.