Katharine Lee Bates was born in Falmouth, Massachusetts on August 12, 1859. In the summer of 1893, she embarked on an extensive tour of America, from Niagara Falls, to the World's Fair in Chicago, and ultimately to Pike's Peak near Colorado Springs. It was from this vantage point that she was inspired to write the first drafts of America the Beautiful. First published on July 4, 1895 by The Congregationalist, the poem underwent 2 more revisions to become the version we know today.
Chris Galls's love for all things American, as well as his desire to honor his familial heritage gave him the inspiration to create America the Beautiful, his first book. He is the award-winning author and illustrator of Dear Fish, There's Nothing to Do on Mars, and his most recent, Dinotrux, a Publishers Weekly Best Children's Book of 2009. His books have received numerous starred reviews and awards including a Borders Original Voices Book for 2006 for Dear Fish and a Kirkus Best Children's Book for 2008 for There's Nothing to Do on Mars. Chris has won a multitude of awards from organizations like the Society of Illustrators and Communication Arts Magazine and lives in Tucson, Arizona.