John William Jakes (born March 31, 1932) is an American writer, best known for American historical fiction. His Civil War trilogy, North and South, has sold millions of copies worldwide. He is also the author of The Kent Family Chronicles. He has used the pen name Jay Scotland.
Jakes was born in Chicago, Illinois. He first sold stories to pulp magazines while still in college in the early 1950s. Jakes studied creative writing at DePauw University, Greencastle, Indiana, graduating in 1953. He then earned an M.A. in American literature from The Ohio State University. He and Rachel, to whom had been married for 13 months at the time, appeared on the game show “Beat the Clock” on August 23, 1952. Although they failed to complete the Bonus Round, Rachel won for them a Sylvania “Jefferson” 20″ screen television set. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z8NWqHrXAmY