Dorothy (Brenner) Francis

John P. St. John Memorial High School
Class of 1944

(Nov. 30, 1926 —         )

In 1948, Dorothy Brenner was the first woman at the University of Kansas to graduate with a bachelor of music degree with a major in trumpet. She was also the first woman from KU to travel with a professional dance band, The Ruth Coleman all-girl orchestra. Francis sold her first book, Adventures of Riverton Zoo, in 1966 and since then she has published 74 books for children and adults. Her writings cover many genres: short stories, picture books, children’s books, mysteries, romance, novels, and non-fiction. In 1982 and 1987 the Florida State Historical Society awarded two of her books, Captain Margana Mason and The Tomorrow Star the Charlton Tebeau Award for best children’s book. She won the Derringer Award in 1999 for the short story When in Rome as the best short story of the year.