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Tony Gentry

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About Tony

Tony Gentry is the author of the new biographical novel The Night Doctor of Richmond, about the Medical College of Virginia’s notorious 19th Century grave robber Chris Baker.


His debut novel The Coal Tower was short-listed for the 2019 Faulkner Society First Novel Prize and was followed by the story collection Last Rites (2019), a book of poetry Yearnful Raves (2020) and the personal history WWII Mortarman: My Father’s Service with the 99th Chemical Mortar Battalion – European Theater (2024). 

Tony has also authored a series of young adult biographies: Paul Laurence Dunbar, Jesse Owens, Dizzy Gillespie, Alice Walker and Elvis Presley (Chelsea House – now out of print). The Gillespie title was awarded best YA biography by the New York Public Library in 1993. His stories and poems have been widely published in literary journals.

Biographically speaking, Tony is a born-and-raised Virginian, who has traveled a bit. A graduate of Fluvanna County High School, Harvard College (BA – history & literature), New York University (MA – occupational therapy) and the University of Virginia (PhD – instructional technology), he has worked as a security guard in Boston, a waiter, museum preparator and award-winning radio news producer  (WWL) in New Orleans, a legal proofreader and word processor in New York, and as an occupational therapist in New York, Los Angeles, Fort Wayne, Raleigh, and Charlottesville, where he founded and directed a community-based rehab program The John Jane Brain Injury Center (now known as Bridgeline), before moving on to a 20-year career as a professor at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond. At VCU, he pioneered research into mobile devices and smart homes as cognitive-behavioral aids for people with disabilities, retiring at last to a full-time writing career in 2021.

Tony is a member of the Writer’s Guild, James River Writers, Poetry Society of Virginia, Sierra Club, Lifelong Learning Institute and James River Association. He and his wife Christine, also an occupational therapist, live in Bon Air, Virginia with their dog Buddy, their two sons having successfully flown the coop.

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