John T. Cunninham was born in Newark, New Jersey on June 26, 1915. He worked as a reporter at the Daily Record as a student in high school and continued to work there while attending Drew University, where he graduated in 1938. During World War II, became a captain in the Army Air Corps. He was a reporter for the Newark Sunday News for 23 years. He became a full-time author in 1963. He wrote numerous books about New Jersey history including This is New Jersey, New Jersey: America's Main Road, Railroads in New Jersey, Newark, and The Uncertain Revolution: Washington and the Continental Army at Morristown. He also wrote school textbooks and made more than 20 documentary films. He received an Emmy for Dreams of Distant Shores, which was about immigrants and immigration. He helped found the North Jersey American Revolution Round Table. He received the lifetime achievement award from the Advocates of New Jersey History. He died on June 7, 2012 at the age of 96.