Michael Wallis is a journalist and popular historian of the Western United States. He has written seventeen books, including Route 66: The Mother Road, about the historic highway U.S. Route 66. His work has also been published extensively in magazines and newspapers, including Time, Life, People, Smithsonian, The New Yorker, and The New York Times.
Wallis has received the John Steinbeck Award, the Arrell Gibson Lifetime Achievement Award from the Oklahoma Center for the Book, the Will Rogers Spirit Award, and the Western Heritage Award from the National Cowboy Hall & Western Heritage Museum. He has been inducted into the Oklahoma Writers Hall of Fame, Writers Hall of Fame of America, and the Oklahoma Historians Hall of Fame, and was the first inductee into the Oklahoma Route 66 Hall of Fame.
Wallis was interviewed by Rep. Roy Blunt for After Words on Book TV, 29 April 2007, discussing his latest book, Billy the Kid: The Endless Ride.
Wallis graduated from Western Military Academy in Alton, Illinois in 1963. He later attended the University of Missouri in Columbia, and moved to Miami, Florida, in 1978, where he worked for Time's Caribbean Bureau. He currently lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma with his wife, Suzanne Fitzgerald Wallis.