Mike Hoeft is author of The Bingo Queens of Oneida: How Two Moms Started Tribal Gaming in Wisconsin (2014). Although Hoeft had been a newspaper journalist for years, it was his wife Patty who suggested he research the story of the Oneida Bingo enterprise.
“It's a true story that's largely unknown to the general public. For years Patty told me somebody ought to write a book about the two women. I thought someone else would write it. I was busy with my career as a newspaper reporter at the Green Bay Press-Gazette," Hoeft says.
"Then I went through a serious health scare with lymphoma cancer in 2009. Time was suddenly precious, and I felt this was a story worth telling now. When I recovered from chemo, I decided to quit my job on the newspaper so I could write the book. It was kind of a risky move to be jobless. But I'm glad I did it. As I started interviewing people, the more intrigued I became by the story. It went much deeper than I thought.”
Hoeft was born in Green Bay, and his family moved around Wisconsin as his father served various churches as a United Methodist minister. He has a Bachelor's Degree in Journalism from the University of New Mexico and worked on daily newspapers for about 30 years. Currently, he is a paralegal with the Oneida Tribe Child Support Agency and is considering what will be his next writing project.