Published on June 7, 2014 by Amy
Robert J. Conley (December 29, 1940 – February 16, 2014) was a Cherokee author and enrolled member of the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians, a federally recognized tribe of American Indians. In 2007, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Native Writers’ Circle of the Americas.
Conley was born in Cushing, Oklahoma and passed away in Muskogee, Oklahoma. He is noted for depictions of precontact and historical Cherokee figures. He is known for a series of books called the Real People Series. The sixth of the series, The Dark Island (1996) won the Spur Award for best Western novel in 1995. He has also won two other Spur Awards, in 1988 for the short story “Yellow Bird”, and in 1992 for the novel Nickajack. Robert Conley became the first American Indian to lead Western Writers of America at Western Carolina University, Cullowhee, North Carolina in 2010.