Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  John R. Powers  

Pen Name: None

Genre: C:ADULT Fiction

Born: November 30, 1945 in Chicago, Illinois


Illinois Connection

Powers was born in Chicago and lived there most of his life. He attended Brother Rice High School and Northwestern and Loyola Universities. He also taught at Northeastern.

Biographical and Professional Information

John Powers was a novelist and a renowned motivational speaker. He bagan his career as an elementary and junior high school teacher. His work, ''Do Black Patent Leather Shoes Really Reflect Up?'' was selected for inclusion on the list of Best Books for Young Adults in 1975 and went on to become a hit musical. Powers produced the Chicago show full-time, as well as other productions of the play in other major cities. Powers has also produced and starred in a one-man show called ''Life’s Not Fair . . . So What?''

Powers holds a Ph.D. in Communications from Northwestern University and was a professor of speech and performing arts at Northeastern Illinois University. During this time, he also created and hosted a number of specials for Chicago public television. He received undergraduate degrees in sociology from Loyola University and is a graduate of Brother Rice High School in Chicago.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library


-- American Library Association's list of Best Books for Young Adults in 1975 for ''Do Black Patent Leather Shoes Really Reflect Up?''