John DeSantis grew up in New York City, where he spent years as a street reporter, covering crime and courts on a free-lance basis for United Press International, the New York Times and other national entities. Coverage of a high-profile court case resulted in his first book, the critically acclaimed For The Color of His Skin: The Murder of Yusuf Hawkins & the Trial of Bensonhurst. A second, The New Untouchables: How America Sanctions Police Violence, followed.
In later years he moved to the New Orleans area, where he wrote extensively about social justice issues. His new book The Thibodaux Massacre: Racial Violence and the 1887 Sugar Cane Labor Strike (The History Press) explores a story that nobody ever wanted told, the mass murder of an unknown number of sugar laborers in 1887 following a month –long strike. He continues to work as a full-time journalist in the Louisiana Bayou Country.