Born: July 30, 1929
Died: May 9, 2011
Ohio connection: Birth
Robert Elwayne Skimin, son of Ellwyn W. and Mildred L. (Summerton) Skimin, was born in 1929 in Belden, Ohio. He attended Monmouth Junior College, 1948-49; University of Georgia, 1957-58; South Dakota School of Technology, 1959-60; and Cornish School of Allied Arts, 1967-68. He served with great distinction in the United States Army as an aviator and paratrooper, 1947-67. He was the fourth youngest commissioned officer in the Army, 1949, and was the first aviator attached to the Green Berets, 1955-57. He was awarded the Purple Heart, the Bronze Star, and the Army Commendation Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster.
Skimin began his writing career with the publication of Rob`s Guide to El Paso and Juarez in 1973. Most of his books are historical novels. His “Soldier for Hire” series, which includes Trojan in Iran, Zula Blood, U.N. Sabotage, and Bloodletting, made the bestseller lists. Gray Victory, an alternative historical novel in which the South wins the Civil War, was also a bestseller. Numerous critics have praised Skimin`s realistic portrayals of historical people and events. Some of his other works are The River and the Horseman and Custer`s Luck, two novels about General George Armstrong Custer; Chikara!, Apache Autumn; and Renegade Lightning. His recent book, published in 2005, is Footprints of Heroes: From the American Revolution to the War in Iraq, a historical work telling the stories of military heroes and heroines. Robert Skimin passed away May 9, 2011, El Paso, Texas and is buried at Fort Bliss National Cemetery.
El Paso Writers Hall of Fame; Ohiana Book Award, 1984, for Chikara!