J. Craig Wheeler is the Samuel T. and Fern Yanagisawa Regents Professor of Astronomy at the University of Texas at Austin, where he was chair of the department from 1986 to 1990. He was a Research Fellow at Caltech working in Nobel Laureate Willy Fowler's group from 1969 to 1971. From 1971 to 1974, he was an Assistant Professor of Astronomy at Harvard. In 1974, he moved to Texas as an Associate Professor of Astronomy. He specializes in the astrophysics of violent events: supernovae, neutron stars, black holes, gamma-ray bursts and the relation of these events to astrobiology. He was elected to the Academy of Distinguished Teachers in 2002. He is serving as President of the American Astronomical Society from 2006 to 2008. He has published about 200 papers in refereed journals and conference proceedings, has edited books on supernovae and accretion disks. He published a novel, "The Krone Experiment," co-authored the screenplay, and played a role in the independent film made in Austin. He has also written a popular astronomy book, "Cosmic Catastrophes: Supernovae, Gamma-Ray Bursts and Adventures in Hyperspace" the second edition of which was released in December 2006. For recreation, he enjoys, running, reading, and writing fiction, some of which is posted on his Web page.