siesta key sand
Siesta Key Sand, Sarasota County ©Author Adventures

MacKinlay Kantor

Pulitzer Prize-winning author and journalist MacKinlay Kantor (1904-1977) had a longtime home in Siesta Key, creating a hub for writers there, though his writer belongings are now in nearby Sarasota. His best-known books are Andersonville and Long Remember.

He is known for writing about the Civil War and for his pulp suspense fiction but his career encompassed numerous directions. In addition to being an author, he was a World War II war correspondent, a magazine writer, a screenwriter, and an actor. According to

“MacKinlay Kantor was born on February 4, 1904 in Webster City, Iowa, USA as Benjamin MacKinlay Kantor. He was a writer and actor, known for The Best Years of Our Lives (1946), Gun Crazy (1950) and Happy Land (1943). He was married to Florence Irene Layne. He died on October 11, 1977 in Sarasota, Florida, USA.”

Read more about MacKinlay Kantor here: A list of his books is here:

Sarasota County History Center

We suggest a visit to the MacKinlay Kantor exhibit of his writing room, which has been kept intact at the Sarasota County History Center (at the Chidsey Building, 701 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota), according to

Sarasota is on the west coast of Florida and has a population of approximately 57,000 residents, while Siesta Key has a population of approximately 6,500.

Sarasota is a popular vacation destination with dozens of fun and family-friendly activities, like the Ringling Circus Museum, Olaf’s ice cream, Yoder’s Amish Village, and swimming at the beach with its fine, smooth, silky sand.

Other war correspondents like Kantor who lived in Florida island areas include Ernest Hemingway (Key West) and Ding Darling (Sanibel Island).

This is the third and final stop on Florida Author Adventures Trail #3!

Patricia Smart