John Edward Jennings (1906–1973) was an American historical novelist, author of many best-selling novels of American history and seagoing adventure. He also wrote several nonfiction books on history. John Edward Jennings, Jr., was born in Brooklyn, New York and studied engineering and literature at Columbia University. He had his first experience of seafaring at age 19 as a hand aboard a tramp steamer in the Black Sea and eastern Mediterranean. In World War II he served as a lieutenant commander in the US Navy and was the head of the US Naval Aviation History Unit. He first wrote short stories and travel narratives. His first novel, Next to Valour was published in 1939 and became a best-seller, translated into seven languages. It concerned life along the Merrimack River during the French and Indian War. His most popular novel was The Salem Frigate, a romantic adventure set on the US frigate Essex. Other seafaring adventures included The Sea Eagles, about the early days of the US Navy, and Chronicle of the Calypso, Clipper about a clipper race. Banners Against the Wind (1954) was a biographical novel about the pioneering doctor Samuel Gridley Howe.