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John R. Powers (November 30, 1945) is an American novelist and playwright.

Powers has written four successful books of fiction, The Last Catholic in America (1973), Do Black Patent Leather Shoes Really Reflect Up? (1975), The Unoriginal Sinner and the Ice Cream God (1977), and The Junk Drawer, Corner Store, Front Porch Blues (1992). He also wrote the self-help book Odditude (2007). These books relate the experience of growing up in Chicago. He grew up in the Mt. Greenwood neighborhood on the city's far southwest side. The first three books, often referred to as the "Eddie Ryan Trilogy," have been re-issued by Loyola Press.

Do Black Patent Leather Shoes Really Reflect Up? was selected for inclusion on the American Library Association’s list of Best Books for Young Adults in 1975 and went on to become a hit musical that continues to run in venues nationwide.

Powers holds a Ph.D. in Communications from Northwestern University and was a professor of speech and performing arts at Northeastern Illinois University. He received undergraduate degrees in sociology from Loyola University and is a graduate of Brother Rice High School in Chicago (graduated in 1964). Powers continues to write, and is a renowned motivational speaker.

Dr. Powers currently resides in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin with his wife JaNelle Meyers Powers, whom he met while she was performing in the original production of "Do Black Patent Leather Shoes..." as Mary Kenny, and two daughters: actress, Jacey Powers (b. 1986) and Joy Victoria Powers (b. 1990). He can often be found typing in his rocking chair on his front porch or playing the banjo in the attic.



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