Nebraska Authors

Ernest Kellogg Gann

Born 1910-10-13 Lincoln, NE (USA)

Died 1991-12-19
Friday Harbor, WA (USA)



Aviator and novelist, Gann wrote screenplays of six of his seven novels that have been made into motion pictures, including Blaze of Noon, 1947; Island in the Sky, 1953; The High and the Mighty, 1954; Soldier of Fortune, 1955. His writing methods were often severe (including chaining himself to his desk until he produced his target number of words), but produced popular and critically acclaimed work.

Places Lived

Lincoln, NE
San Juan Island, Harbor, WA

Author Of

  • Fiction
  • Nonfiction


Adventure Novels; Aviation


Yale Drama School (dropped out after 2 years)



Places Worked

American Airlines
Air Transport Command


National Association of Independent Schools Award for The High and the Mighty, 1954
Received the Distinguished Flying Award from the U.S. Army Air Forces
The Confederate Air Force Hall of Fame, 1971
The Culver Military Man of the Year, 1974
Aviation Journalist of the Year, 1975
Washington Governor Gary Locke posthumously awarded the Medal of Merit (the state's highest honor) to Gann on July 9, 2003


Gann was a member or honorary member of:
The Society of Flight Test Engineers
Order of Daedalions
Black Birds
OX-5 Aviation Pioneers
Secret Order of Quiet Birdmen
Colgate President's Club
Washington Athletic Club
Grey Eagles Club
9th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing
Retired Eastern Pilots Association
American Fighter Pilots Association


Sky Roads. 1940.
All American Aircraft. 1941.
Getting Them Into the Blue. 1942.
Island in the Sky. 1944.
Blaze of Noon. 1946.
Benjamin Lawless. 1948.
Fiddler's Green. 1950.
The High and the Mighty. 1952.
Soldier of Fortune. 1954.
Trouble with Lazy Ethel. 1957.
Twilight of the Gods. 1958.
Fate Is The Hunter. 1961.
Of Good and Evil. 1963.
In the Company of Eagles. 1966.
The Song of the Sirens. 1968.
The Antagonists. 1971.
Band of Brothers. 1973.
Ernest K. Gann's Flying Circus. 1974.
A Hostage to Fortune. 1978. (autobiography)
Brain 2000. 1980.
The Aviator. 1981.
Masada. 1981.
The Magistrate. 1982.
The Last Enemy. 1983. (forward by Ernest Gann)
Gentlemen of Adventure.1983.
The Proficient Pilot. 1985. (forward by Ernest Gann)
The Triumph. 1986.
The Bad Angel. 1987.
The Black Watch: Men Who Fly America's Secret Spy Planes. 1989.

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Ernest Kellogg Gann

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(e.g. Author is buried in Fremont, not in David City / Also wrote for the Daily Nebraskan during her time as a student)