- State College Area School District
- Distinguished Alumni
2018 Bruce Gamble
Bruce Gamble was born on the 17th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, so perhaps it was preordained for him to later achieve national recognition as an award-winning author and respected historian of World War II aviation, with a specialty in the Pacific theatre, where his father piloted a B-29 and his uncle served as a B-17 navigator.
Raised in Boalsburg, Bruce graduated from Penn State in 1980 with a pre-law degree and then proceeded to the U.S. Naval Aviation Officer Candidate School in Pensacola, Florida, where he earned his Naval Flight Officer wings in 1982.
Upon receiving his active duty assignment, he flew as an electronic-warfare navigator during the closing years of the Cold War.
During that last duty, Bruce was diagnosed with a malignant spinal cord tumor and underwent a complicated surgical procedure. Although it saved his life, it resulted in a permanent spinal cord injury, and he was medically retired from the Navy in 1989.
Starting over as a wheelchair user, Bruce began volunteering at the National Naval Aviation Museum and eventually worked part-time as a staff historian for the Naval Aviation Museum Foundation. Then, in 1998, he made the leap to freelance writing and published his first book.
Winner of The Admiral Arthur W. Radford Award in 2010 and Florida Book Award in 2013, Gamble’s narrative style and depth of research have earned him acclaim from multiple magazines and associations. He has six books in print, with his 7th to be published in November 2018.
In addition to writing, he has been the featured historian in documentaries produced by History Channel, Fox News Channel, PBS and Pritzker Military Library.
Cancer-free for almost thirty years, Bruce lives in the countryside near Madison, Georgia.