The Iowa-born author of more than thirty novels, he is most famous for his 1956, Pulitzer Prize-winning work, Andersonville. His other war-themed works include If the South Had Won the Civil War (1961) and Valley Forge (1975).
While reporting for The Webster City Daily News and the Des Moines Tribune, he published several short stories and gained national recognition for his 1934 historical novel, Long Remember.
His experience of transitioning back to civilian life after serving as an Air Force gunner in World War II informed his novel, Glory for Me.
He grew up with his sister in Webster City, Iowa. His mother was the editor of The Webster City Daily News.
The Oscar-winning film, The Best Years of Our Lives, was based on one of Kantor's novels and starred actor Fredric March.