John Shelton Reed is a writer and lecturer in Chatham county, North Carolina. He retired in 2000 as William Rand Kenan Jr. Professor of sociology at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, where he was director of the Howard Odum Institute for Research in Social Science for twelve years and helped to found the Center for the Study of the American South.
He was founding co-editor of the quarterly Southern Cultures and served recently as Chancellor of the Fellowship of Southern Writers. His books include 1001 Things Everyone Should Know About the South and Holy Smoke: The Big Book of North Carolina Barbecue, both written with his wife, Dale Volberg Reed. He serves as Éminence Grease of the Campaign for Real Barbecue (TrueCue.org).