A native of Silver Bay, Minnesota, Steven James Wright developed a fascination with history by listening to his grandfather’s stories of World War I and by exploring his father’s vast library of Civil War books as a child. This interest led to his majoring in history in college at St. John’s University (B.A., Collegeville, MN, 1978) and the University of Minnesota–Duluth (M.A., Duluth, MN, 1981. He also received an M.L.I.S., Drexel University, 2003.) He worked for more than twenty-five years in the history field at such places as Gettysburg National Military Park as a seasonal Park Ranger, a full-time Park Ranger at Independence National Historical Park, and the Curator of Collections at the late Civil War Library and Museum in Philadelphia. In addition, he has written two books and contributed to four others, and has had more than 300 articles and book reviews printed in such publications as The Surratt Courier, Blue and Gray, Civil War News, Gettysburg Magazine, Civil War Times, America’s Civil War, to name but a few. A member of a number of historical and preservation associations, he has served more than five terms as President of Old Baldy Civil War Round Table of Philadelphia.
In addition to his interest in the Civil War, Wright’s interests also include the American West and the Second World War, subjects which he continues to research and write about extensively. These interests have led him to travel widely, to remote areas of the American west and the South Pacific, such as the islands of Guadalcanal and Tulagi, which he has visited twice.
A former Librarian with the Free Library of Philadelphia, today Wright is the Secretary-Treasurer of AFSCME Local 2187, District Council 47, which represents approximately 2,400 professional and technical employees who work for the City of Philadelphia. He lives in Philadelphia with his wife, Irene, a Children’s Librarian with the City of Philadelphia and two jealous cats. During his free time he enjoys competitive “cowboy” shooting with the Single-Action Shooting Society. His current research projects include the exploits of Henry “Billy the Kid” Antrim and the real story behind the escape at Stalag Luft III near Sagan, Germany (the “Great Escape”).