Ronald E. Yates

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I am an author of historical fiction and action/​adventure novels, including the popular and award-winning Finding Billy Battles trilogy. In my books I blend fact and fiction.
I am a former foreign correspondent for the Chicago Tribune and Professor Emeritus of Journalism at the University of Illinois where I was also the Dean of the College of Media.
My book, The Lost Years of Billy Battles, is the third book in my Finding Billy Battles trilogy of novels. It was published in June 2018. Book Two in the series has won multiple awards, including the 2017 KCT International Literary Award, the 2017 John E. Weaver Excellent Reads Award for Historical Fiction, the 2016 New Apple Literary Award in the Action/​Adventure category and First Place in the 2016 Chanticleer International Book Awards in the Literary Category. It was also a finalist for the United Kingdom’s Diamond Book Award.
The first book in the trilogy, "Finding Billy Battles," was published in 2014 and was a Kansas Book Festival Selection and a finalist for a Chanticleer Laramie Award.

Journalism Career

During my career as a foreign correspondent I lived and worked in Japan, Southeast Asia and Latin America where I covered several major stories including the fall of South Vietnam and Cambodia in 1975; the 1989 Tiananmen Square tragedy in Beijing; Afghanistan during the last year of the Russian occupation; and revolutions in Nicaragua, El Salvador an Guatemala.

My work as a correspondent was rewarded with several awards, including three Pulitzer nominations; the Inter-American Press Association's Tom Wallace Award for coverage of Central and South America; the Peter Lisagor Award from the Society of Professional Journalists; and three Edward Scott Beck Awards.


I am currently writing the second book in the Finding Billy Battles trilogy as well as a book based on my experiences as a foreign correspondent in Asia from the early 1970s to the early 1990s. Its working title is The Last Rickshaw Home: A Foreign Correspondent’s Journey Through Asia.

I am a frequent speaker at seminars and symposiums dealing with such diverse topics as war correspondence, international affairs, relations between Asia and the United States and the critical topic of how American companies are competing globally. I have spoken at seminars sponsored by Northwestern University, the University of Chicago, the U.S. Automotive Export Council, the International Trade Association, the World Trade Center, the Council on Competitiveness, the Competitiveness Policy Council and the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations, to name a few.

Professional History

While in Japan I wrote the popular TOKYO EXPRESS column for Japan's Mainichi Daily News and was a columnist for the Japanese edition of Playboy Magazine. I served as senior editorial adviser to the China Financial Weekly, published by the Financial Relations Board and I write frequently for several Asia-based publications.

I write a blog entitled "ForeignCorrespondent" that can be found at: http:/​/​​. My Website and authors pages can be found at: http:/​/​​ and at the Authors' Guild: http:/​/​​index.htm and on Amazon's Author Central page: http:/​/​​-/​e/​B001KHDVZI.

I am a native of Kansas City, Mo. and a proud graduate of the William Allen White School of Journalism at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kansas. I am also a veteran of the U.S. Army Security Agency.

Selected Works

Book Three in the Finding Billy Battles Trilogy
Book #2 of the Finding Billy Battles trilogy.
Experience an extraordinary man's perilous and riveting journey from untamed 19th century Kansas to the mysterious Far East and elsewhere."
The Compelling Saga of One of the World's Oldest Companies
A guide to the Art and Craft of Journalism
A "how to" book for foreign correspondents
A primer on covering international business and finance