After graduating from the University of South Florida, Jim Hooper worked as a documentary research-writer for WFLA-TV in Tampa, with weekends set aside as a skydiving team captain and instructor. He gave up television after three years to devote himself full time to jumping out of airplanes, logging over 3000 freefalls and building the world's premier skydiving centre in Zephyrhills, Florida. His thirst for adventure unfulfilled, he sold the business in 1984 to realize a long-held dream of being a war correspondent and author, making his home in England and setting off for Africa. / Within two years, his byline was appearing in publications ranging from The Daily Telegraph of London to Jane's Intelligence Review. He covered wars in Angola, Chad, Congo, Namibia, South Africa, and southern Sudan. Following publication of Koevoet and its American edition, Beneath the Visiting Moon, he collaborated with fellow war correspondents Ken Guest and Anthony Rogers on Bloodsong - At the Frontline of Today's Wars. The only journalist to accompany the mercenaries of Executive Outcomes on operations in Sierra Leone, he was asked to record their campaigns in his book Bloodsong. The Balkan wars of the 1990s found him crossing back and forth between the Croatian, Serbian and Muslim frontlines in search of stories, the most memorable when he was captured by Muslim extremists in central Bosnia. He was a principal contributor to the best-selling World's Most Dangerous Places, and its companion, Hotspots, while A Hundred Feet Over Hell, the story of his brother's tour in Vietnam, has been ranked by veterans and non-veterans alike as a classic of the air warfare genre.
In assembling this work, Jim Hooper had the opportunity to re-connect with so many of the men who allowed this outsider to ride with them. All of which brought a new intensity and poignancy. * Books Monthly *