James Clark was born in Washington, D.C. He began his journalism career with ABC News in Washington as a copyboy before joining United Press International as a reporter. He worked for the Columbia (S.C.) Record, Tampa Tribune, Orlando Sentinel, Raleigh News & Observer and for the Associated Press in Charlotte and Philadelphia. He has been honored with the George Polk Award, Numerous awards from the Florida Society of Newspaper Editor, The Gerald Loeb Award and the Sigma Delta Chi Award. He is the author of six books, including the three volumes of the Pineapple Anthology of Florida Writers. He is a history lecturer at the University of Central Florida.