Joe Nick Patoski has been writing about Texas and Texans for four decades. A former cab driver and staff writer for Texas Monthly magazine and one-time reporter at the Austin American-Statesman, he has authored and co-authored biographies of Selena and Stevie Ray Vaughan, collaborated with photographer Laurence Parent on books about the Texas Mountains, the Texas Coast, and Big Bend National Park, all published by University of Texas Press, in addition to writing Generations on the Land: A Conservation Legacy (Texas A&M Press) and Texas High High School Football: More Than the Game (Texas Historical Commission).
His 2008 book Willie Nelson: An Epic Life, published by Little, Brown, was recognized by The Friends of the TCU Library in 2009 with the Texas Book Award for the best book about Texas written in 2007-8. His most recent book for Little, Brown is The Dallas Cowboys: The Outrageous History of the Biggest, Loudest, Most Hated, Best Loved Football Team in America.
His most recent books were Generations on the Land, published by Texas A&M in January 2011, profiles nine families across the western United States who have been recognized for outstanding stewardship in practicing sustainable farming, ranching, logging, and wine-grape growing; and Texas High School Football: More Than The Game, a catalog of the exhibit he curated for the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum in 2011.
Patoski's new book is The Dallas Cowboys: The Outrageous History of the Biggest, Loudest, Most Hated, Best Loved Football Team in America, published by Little, Brown in October 2012. The expansive eight hundred page book explains how and why a 1960 expansion franchise in the National Football League became America's Team and the most valuable franchise in sports.
Patoski's byline has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, TimeOut New York, Garden and Gun, and No Depression magazine, for whom he is a contributing editor. He also recorded the oral histories of B.B. King, Clarence Fountain of the Blind Boys of Alabama, Memphis musician and producer Jim Dickinson, Tejano superstar Little Joe Hernandez, and 15 other subjects for the Voice of Civil Rights oral history project sponsored by AARP and the Library of Congress, some of which appeared in the book My Soul Looks Back in Wonder by Juan Williams, published by Sterling in 2004.
Patoski writes about water, land, nature and parks for a number of publications including Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine, the Texas Observer, and National Geographic magazine, where his story about the Transboundary Megacorridor of southwest Texas and northern Coahuila and Chihuahua was published in February 2007. He also wrote a four-part series about water fights throughout the Guadalupe River basin for the San Antonio Current.
He lives near the village of Wimberley in the Texas Hill Country where he swims and paddles in the Blanco River.