Jack Gantos was born in Mount Pleasant, Pennsylvania, and attended Emerson College in Boston where he received his Bachelor of Fine Arts and Masters of Arts.
Growing up, he was fascinated with reading novels.
His writing career started when he was in sixth grade when he read his sister’s diary and decided that he could write better than her.
While attending college, he began working on his first picture book with a friend who was an illustrator.
After several rejections from publishers, his first book, Rotten Ralph, was published in 1976.
Jack Gantos has written book for all ages including Hole in My Life, which won the Michael L. Printz and Robert F. Sibert honors, Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key, a National Book Award Finalist, and Joey Pigza Loses Control, a Newbery Honor book.
He has taught various courses on children’s book writing and literature and developed the master’s degree program in children’s book writing at Emerson College and Vermont College.
Aside from teaching, he is a conference speaker and a university lecturer.