Nebraska Authors

Lawson McDowell

The author retired as Director of Network Operations, Union Pacific Railroad, in 2015. He writes about the local history of the Omaha region in fictionalized narrative format.

Places Lived

Los Angeles, CA
Tucson, AZ
Kansas City, KS
Denver, CO
Omaha, NE

Author Of

  • Fiction


Omaha, Nebraska--Local History; Boy's Town--History; Railroading and Railroads--History; Engineering--History; Aviation--History; Historical Novels


Graduated, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX
Management training at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA


Railroad Management

Places Worked

Southern Pacific Railroad
Union Pacific Railroad


Chair, Safety Section, Association of American Railroads
For his novel, Before He Became a Monster, he corresponded with and took phone calls from convicted killer Charles Manson.


Omaha Gold : A Story of the Transcontinental Railroad. 2010.
Before He Became a Monster : A Story of Charles Manson's Time at Father Flanagan's Boys Town. 2013.
Duty Bound on the Union Pacific : One Man's Story of Building Lincoln's Transcontinental Railroad. 2014.
Ginny Cooper's War: A Story of War, Love, and Tibbets' Enola Gay. Foreword by Brigadier General Sally Ann Eaves (USAF ret). 2015.

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Lawson McDowell

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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)