An American writer, he is known for such titles as The Godfather Returns; Crooked River Burning; and The Veracruz Blues.
He graduated from Miami University, where he was a member of Phi Beta Kappa.
He taught at George Mason University, George Washington University, and John Carroll University.
He and his wife became parents to a son and a daughter.
Winegardner's work, The Godfather Returns, is a sequel to Mario Puzo's popular Godfather series.