Kenneth Womack is one of the world’s leading authorities on the Beatles and their enduring cultural influence. He is the author of a two-volume biography devoted to famed Beatles producer Sir George Martin, including Maximum Volume (2017) and Sound Pictures (2018). His latest book, John Lennon 1980: The Last Days in the Life (2020), traces the story of the former Beatle’s comeback after five years of self-imposed retirement.
Ken’s Beatles-related books include Long and Winding Roads: The Evolving Artistry of the Beatles (2007), The Cambridge Companion to the Beatles (2009), The Beatles Encyclopedia: Everything Fab Four (2014), and Solid State: The Story of Abbey Road and the End of the Beatles (2019). Ken’s books about the Beatles are included in the permanent collection of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s Library and Archives. Ken is also the author of four novels, including John Doe No. 2 and the Dreamland Motel (2010), The Restaurant at the End of the World (2012), Playing the Angel (2013), and I Am Lemonade Lucy! (2019). His work has appeared in such venues as Salon, Slate, Billboard, Time, Variety, USA Today, Smithsonian Magazine, The Huffington Post, The Guardian, The Independent, The Liverpool Echo, and The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Ken serves as Professor of English and Popular Music at Monmouth University. He is Editor of Interdisciplinary Literary Studies: A Journal of Criticism and Theory, published by Penn State University Press, and Co-Editor of the English Association’s prodigious Year’s Work in English Studies, published by Oxford University Press. Over the years, he has shared his work with public libraries and community organizations across the nation, including audiences at Princeton University, Harvard University, the Smithsonian Institution, the Grammy Museum, and the 92nd Street Y. He has also served as an expert commentator for ABC’s 20/20 and NBC’s Access Hollywood.
Ken’s work as teacher and writer has earned numerous awards, including the Grace D. Long Faculty Excellence Award (2002), Penn State University’s Alumni Teaching Fellow Award (2006), Northern Illinois University’s Golden Anniversary Alumni Award (2009), Penn State Altoona’s Honorary Alumni Award (2009), and the Kjell Meling Award for Distinction in the Arts and Humanities (2010). In 2013, Ken was selected to serve as the sixth Penn State University Laureate.
In addition to studying Russian language and literature at the Moscow Institute of Communication, Ken earned B.A. and M.A. degrees in English from Texas A&M University and a Ph.D. in English from Northern Illinois University. He lives in West Long Branch, New Jersey, with his wife Jeanine.