Born on July 8th, James Cross Giblin was, in his own words, "shy, bookish, and a little spoiled." He loved comic books and drew his own comic strips. Giblin worked on his school newspapers and wrote a play while he was at Western Reserve University. That play, My Bus Was Always Late, was published in 1954. He worked hard at writing plays, but disappointment followed.
After receiving his MFA in creative writing from Columbia University, he went to work at the British Book Centre, which proved to be his doorway into the publishing field. An associate editor at Lothrop, Lee & Shepard from 1962 to 1967, Giblin then moved to Seabury Press as editor-in-chief of its children's division, Clarion Books.
In 1989, he stepped back to the position of contributing editor so he could focus on his writing career. The Truth About Santa Claus and Chimney Sweeps: Yesterday and Today were named ALA Notable Books. Walls: Defenses Throughout History received an SCBWI Golden Kite Award. The Secrets of the Sphinx was given the Orbis Pictus Award. Most recently, The Life and Death of Adolf Hitler received a Sibert Award in 2003.