(b. in 1932) is an author best known for writing American historical fiction novels. He has used several pseudonyms, including William Ard, Robert Hart Davis, John Lee Gray, Jacob Johns, Alan Payne, Stephen Payne, and Jay Scotland.
Jakes was born in Chicago. He first sold stories to pulp magazines while still in college in the early 1950s. He studied creative writing at DePauw University, graduating in 1953. He then earned an M.A. (American literature) from The Ohio State University.
Jakes published dozens of stories and several novels during the twenty years following completion of college, many of them historical fiction. He began to write full-time in 1971.
Jakes' SF/fantasy books included several Brak the Barbarian novels (1968-1980), and the following: When The Star Kings Die (1967), The Asylum World (1969), The Hybrid (1969), The Last Magicians (1969), The Planet Wizard (1969), Secrets Of Stardeep (1969), Tonight We Steal the Stars (1969), Mask of Chaos (1970), Six-Gun Planet (1970), Black in Time (1970), Time Gate (1972), On Wheels (1973), and Excalibur (1985).
His short SF was collected in The Best of John Jakes (1977).