Elinor DeWire, a native of Maryland, has been researching, photographing, and writing about lighthouses since 1973. She has visited hundreds of sentinels in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, the Mediterranean, Central and Northern Europe, New Zealand, and Australia. She is the author of more than twenty books and more than two-hundred articles on the subject. Former Coast Guard historian, Dr. Robert Scheina, calls her “America’s most prolific lighthouse author and a driving force behind the upsurge in interest in preserving lighthouses and the history and nostalgia surrounding them.”
DeWire has appeared on numerous television and radio shows to share her love of lighthouses and worked on two public television programs about her favorite topic. She helped charter several nonprofit groups devoted to lighthouse preservation and served on the License Plate Grant Program committee in Washington. Currently, she is a member of the Board of Directors of the U.S. Lighthouse Society and chair of their Education Committee. She has been honored for her work by the U.S. Lighthouse Society, the American Lighthouse Foundation, the Coast Guard Foundation, the American Association of University Women, and the National League of American Pen Women. Two of her lighthouse books have won the coveted Ben Franklin Award and the Coast Guard Book Award. She is a recipient of the Coast Guard’s Meritorious Public Service Award, and she is the sponsor of the Coast Guard Cutter FREDERICK HATCH, stationed in Guam.
DeWire holds an M.A. in Education from the University of Connecticut. She has taught public school, museum programs, and most recently taught career and student success courses at Olympic College in Bremerton, Washington. She lives in Canterbury, Connecticut where she writes from a spacious office overlooking woods and wetlands, a reclusive corner of her rural home where two cats nap on comfortable chairs and lighthouse memorabilia collected over many years of faithful and fervent research decorates the walls and shelves.
“I surround myself with my fascinations,” says DeWire. “Everyone needs a passion in life; mine is lighthouses.”
DeWire’s husband, Jonathan, a retired navy officer, and her two children and two grandchildren have fond memories of the family’s many travels to lighthouses.