Dr. John Wesley Raley Jr., son of legendary OBU President John Wesley Raley, will sign copies of his book, "Beyond the Gate: My Journey as an Oklahoma Boy" Wednesday, Aug. 29, at 1 p.m. in OBU's Geiger Center. Copies of the book will be available for purchase at the event.
"Beyond the Gate" tells how John Raley Jr. was raised on the OBU campus in Shawnee, where his father served as university president and chancellor for more than three decades. The young Raley grew up in a home surrounded by his scholarly father's books and his concert pianist mother's classical music. As a small person in a grown-up world, college students and professors were his closest companions.
Later, as a sea-going, saltwater sailor, federal prosecutor, trial lawyer and civic leader, Raley has seen much of the world, met at close range a variety of its most famous and fascinating people, and encountered some who fall in the "infamous" category. He is a lifelong student of history, has witnessed much of it being made, and, as the collection of stories will reflect, has been involved in the making of some of it.
Politicians, poets, professors, pilots, law enforcement officers, sports and military heroes, state and national political leaders, judges and jurors -- as well as a number of ordinary people who have done extraordinary things -- are found in the pages of the book.
Born in Bartlesville, Okla., Raley attended schools in Shawnee. He received a bachelor of arts degree in history and English from OBU in 1954, and a juris doctorate from the University of Oklahoma College of Law.
He serves in an "of counsel" relationship with the Northcutt Law Firm in Ponca City, Okla. He is the retired United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Oklahoma. Headquartered in Muskogee, he served as the presidentially appointed chief law enforcement officer for the 26-county area which comprises the Eastern District.
Raley is married to Caroline Brown of Tulsa. They have two sons, John Wesley Raley III, an attorney in Houston, Texas; and Robert Thames Raley, who serves as an assistant U.S. attorney in Tulsa.
"Beyond the Gate" is published by the Oklahoma Heritage Association.