Michael Lee Lanning is the author of twenty-two books of non-fiction. Three of his military history editions, the genre for which he is best known, have been translated into a total of eleven languages in thirteen countries. He has sold more than a million copies of his works in print, audio, and e-book formats. Various editions have been included in the Military Book Club. His books have been reviewed in publications as diverse as the New York Times, Infantry Magazine, and Soldier of Fortune. The Sunday Times of London dedicated a full page in review and analysis of one edition. All but four of his books are still in print.
Since 1987, American soldiers and marines have gone to war with Lanning’s books in their rucksacks. He writes about soldiers and others in uniform in the way only a veteran who has “been there and done that” can accomplish. His books can also be found around the world in the libraries of veterans, military enthusiasts, and those simply wanting to understand soldiers and their environment.
In addition to his continued writing on military subjects, Lanning has recently added sports and health reporting to his list of publications.
Lanning was born on September 18, 1946 in Sweetwater, Texas. He received his Bachelor of Science degree from Texas A & M University in 1968 and his Master of Science from East Texas State University in 1979.
Lanning retired as a lieutenant colonel after more than twenty years in the U.S. Army where he served all across the United States, in Southeast Asia, and in Germany. In Vietnam he led an infantry platoon, a reconnaissance platoon, and a rifle company. In addition to other command and staff positions, he acted as public affairs officer for General H. Norman Schwarzkopf and served as a member of the Department of Defense Public Affairs office. During his time in uniform he earned the Senior Parachute Badge, Ranger Tab, Combat Infantryman’s Badge, the Bronze Star with “V” device and two oak leaf clusters, the Defense Meritorious Medal and a dozen additional commendation and service awards.
Lanning has been a primary speaker at conferences on the African American Soldier at the D-Day Museum in New Orleans and Tuskegee University in Alabama as well at conferences on military film in Washington D.C. and Boston. He is the 1995 recipient of the Redcatcher Military Writer of Excellence Award. In addition to appearances on the History Channel, Lanning has appeared on NPR and on CBS. His books have been or are on the Commandant’s Reading List at the Infantry Center, Armor School, Command and General Staff College, War College, Coast Guard Academy, U.S. Military Academy, and the U.S. Marine Corps. His books are on the reading lists for college course's throughout the country. He is on the advisory board of History Makers in Chicago and the Texas A&M University Press in College Station, Texas.
Lanning is married to Linda Moore-Lanning, who is also an author. Moore-Lanning has written textbooks on the English language, U.S. history, and the U.S. government. She has also written about the women of her home state entitled Breaking the Myth: The Truth About Texas Women. Most recently Texas A&M University Press published Waiting: One Wife’s Year of the Vietnam War, the story of Moore-Lanning’s experiences while awaiting her husband’s return from the war. Waiting is the only book in print that describes a wife’s perspective of the 10-year controversial conflict.
The Lannings currently reside on the Bolivar Peninsula on the Texas Gulf Coast.
Lee can be contacted at MLann1037@aol.com.