Daniel Mark Epstein is an award-winning poet, biographer, and dramatist whose works include Lincoln and Whitman, Sister Aimee, and the international best-seller The Ballad of Bob Dylan. Born in Washington, D.C. in 1948, he was educated at Kenyon College. In the 1970s his poetry first appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, and The New Republic. His first volume of poems was published by Liveright in 1973. His plays appeared soon thereafter in regional theater and Off-Broadway, and in 1978 he received the Prix de Rome for his poetry and dramatic works.
In the 1980s he wrote his first biography, Sister Aimee: The Life of Aimee Semple McPherson, now in its fourth printing. His biography Nat King Cole was a 1999 New York Times Notable Book, reviewed on the cover of the NYT Book Review, and his biography of Edna St. Vincent Millay was a New York Public Library Honoree, “Books to Remember” for 2001. The Lincolns: Portrait of a Marriage, was named one of the Best Books of 2008 by both The Wall Street Journal and The Chicago Sun-Times. His holiday stories Star of Wonder and The Two Menorahs have become mainstays on National Public Radio.
His honors include a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship in 1974, a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1984, and an Academy Award for Lifetime Achievement from the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2006. In April of 2020, he received an Honorary Doctor of Letters Degree from his alma mater.