|Born||July 22, 1943|
Pontiac, Michigan, United States
Dexter was born in Pontiac, Michigan. His father died when Dexter was four; and he and his mother moved to Milledgeville, Georgia, where she married a college Physics professor. He earned his undergraduate degree in 1969 from the University of South Dakota, which awarded him an honorary Doctor of Letters and Literature in 2010.
Prior to that he worked for what is now The Palm Beach Post in West Palm Beach, Florida, but quit in 1972 because the paper's owners forced the editorial page editor to endorse Richard Nixon over George McGovern.
Pete Dexter began writing fiction after a life-changing 1981 incident in which a mob of locals armed with baseball bats beat him severely. The perpetrators were upset by a recent column about a murder involving drug deal-gone-wrong. The brother of the homicide victim was a bartender at a local bar in the Schuylkill neighborhood. Dexter went to the bar to talk to him after the family had called the newspaper to complain. Dexter was roughed up at that meeting and later returned with a friend, heavyweight prizefighter Randall "Tex" Cobb. In the ensuing fight outside the bar in the street, Cobb's arm was broken and Dexter was hospitalized with several injuries; including a broken back, pelvis, brain damage and dental devastation. Cobb's injuries cost him a shot at WBA heavyweight champion Mike Weaver.
Paper Trails, published in 2007, is a compilation of columns he wrote for the Philadelphia Daily News and The Sacramento Bee from the 1970s to the 1990s.