Profile Photo of John

John Phillip Santos is a writer, journalist, Emmy-nominated television producer, and documentary media producer from San Antonio, Texas, who has produced more than 40 broadcast documentaries and news programs in sixteen countries for CBS and PBS. His two memoirs, “Places Left Unfinished at the Time of Creation” (a National Book Award Finalist) and “The Farthest Home is in an Empire of Fire,” together tell the ancestral stories of his mother and father’s families, an American origin story of the centuries-long migrations that emerged out of Spain, Mexico, and the lands that became South Texas, and his book of poems is “Songs Older Than Any Known Singer.” During his years as an Arts & Culture program officer at the Ford Foundation, Santos directed the philanthropic program in media infrastructure and documentary production, making more than $40M in grants to support the development of independent media networks in the U.S., Latin America, Africa, and Asia, and to fund production of innovative documentaries around the world. A proud graduate of Texas public schools, Santos was the first Latino to be selected as a Rhodes Scholar and holds degrees in English Literature and Language from Oxford University, and Philosophy and Literature from the University of Notre Dame. After 22 years in Manhattan, Santos returned to his Borderlands hometown of San Antonio in 2005, where he lives with his wife, poet Frances Trevino Santos, and daughter. Since 2010, he has been the Distinguished Scholar in Mestizo Cultural Studies in the Honors College at the University of Texas San Antonio and serves on the boards of Gemini Ink Independent Writing Institute and The Briscoe Museum of Western Art. He is board chair of Humanities Texas. In 2017, he was awarded the Texas Medal for the Arts in Literature and in 2020, Santos was elected to the Federation board.