Merri Jackson Hess was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, but has lived in the mountains of southern West Virginia for the past 38 years. Her experiences growing up in the South during the Civil Rights movement contributed to her passion for telling Dr. Dickason’s story. A retired public school teacher, her knowledge of American history and world events in addition to skills honed by years of teaching students how to research added a great deal to the historical accuracy of this book.
Hess is an avid reader, crafter, and expert cook of all Southern delicacies. She and husband, Tommy, enjoy travel, movies, and the Atlanta Braves. They plan to relocate to historic Charleston, South Carolina to live closer to daughter, Tamara Padgett, her husband Paul, and grandson Rich.