Poet and former publishing executive James Autry is the author of several books of poems and practical philosophy, including Looking Around for God, The Servant Leader, Love and Profit: The Art of Caring Leadership and his latest, Choosing Gratitude: Learning to Love the Life You Have.
During his 30 years at Meredith Corporation, Autry was known as one of the most respected magazine executives in America. Beginning as a copy editor of Better Homes and Gardens in 1960, Autry worked his way up to the role of editor-in-chief. By the time he retired, Autry was senior vice president of Meredith Corporation and president of its magazine group — a $500 million operation with over 900 employees.
Today, in addition to his work as a writer, Autry serves as a corporate consultant specializing in leadership and management, and is active in civic and charitable organizations. He is a founder and chairman of People for the American Way, a constitutional rights organization, and also created the Des Moines Poetry Festival. In 1991, the University of Missouri-Columbia awarded Autry the Missouri Medal of Honor for Distinguished Service in Journalism, an award given for a long track record of excellence.
Along with his wife, former Iowa Lieutenant Governor Sally Pederson, Autry is a major supporter of several autism awareness organizations, including Autism Speaks (formerly the National Alliance for Autism Research).