“Oklahoma is unique in so many ways … its shape, its history, its geography, its climate, and its people. Even though it is one of the youngest states, Oklahoma has overcome natural and man-made disasters to produce people who have led the way in American life. From music, radio, and television, to public service and in the race to space, innovative ideas from Oklahomans literally have changed the way the world lives.,” Burke explained. “And this book tells their stories which are ‘uniquely Oklahoma’ stories!”
A practicing Oklahoma City attorney, Burke has written more historical non-fiction books than anyone else in history. He has written on such diverse topics as baseball, aviation, art, and religion in Oklahoma. His biographies of Wiley Post and books on the history of baseball in Oklahoma and about the Oklahoma governor’s mansion have won the Oklahoma Book Award. His biography of Bryce Harlow was named the outstanding Oklahoma history book of the year by the Oklahoma Historical Society. His book about the life of Ralph Ellison was nominated as a 2005 Oklahoma Reads Oklahoma book selection. Also in 2005, his book about traveling Oklahoma timber towns was named book of the year by the Oklahoma Museum Association.
In 2004, he received the Governor’s Art Award for Excellence in the Arts in Oklahoma and was named to the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame. In 2006, he was given the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Oklahoma Center for the Book. He was inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame in 2006 and received the OU School of Journalism Alumni Award in 2007. In 2010, Bob became the first recipient of the Lee Allan Smith Oklahoma Legacy Award and was inducted into the Oklahoma Historians Hall of Fame. Bob received an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Oklahoma City University in 2011.
The Coffee Cup Bunch of the Friends of the Library meets on the first Wednesday of the month. The meetings are free and open to the public.