Dean Hughes was born in Ogden, Utah in 1943. He started telling people in junior high that he was going to be a writer, but he did not become serious until he took a creative writing class in high school. During his senior year in high school he started his first novel.
He attended Weber State University studying English, and received a Masters in creative writing and a PhD in literature from the University of Washington. Before he became a full-time writer, he taught English at Central Missouri State University for 8 years. Hughes has also taught creative writing at Brigham Young University.
Hughes was 35 when his first book was published. He has written and published over ninety books. Much of his writing is targeted to children and young adults (particularly sports-themed and World War II-era books), although he is also well known to adult readers of LDS Fiction for "Children of the Promise" and "Hearts of the Children" series, set in World War II and Vietnam War eras respectively. He is one of the writers largely credited with the rapidly increasing quality of Mormon literature in recent years.
In March 2008, Hughes received a Lifetime Achievement award at the inaugural Whitney Awards.
? Hughes was offered a chance to write Nancy Drew books, but finally turned it down because he wanted to have his name on all his work.? Hughes has a hard time selecting passages for readings because he does not think his prose is particularly beautiful.? Hughes attributes the "Angel Park Dodgers" series of kids' baseball novels as putting his sons through Harvard.? Hughes's wife Kathleen was, from 2002—2007, the first Counselor in the Relief Society General Presidency.