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Prior to that he worked for what is now The Palm Beach Post in West Palm Beach, Florida, but quit in 1972 because the paper's owners forced the editorial page editor to endorse Richard Nixon over George McGovern.
He began writing fiction after a life-changing 1981 incident in which a mob of locals in the neighborhood of Schuylkill, armed with baseball bats and upset by a recent column about a drug deal-gone-wrong murder, beat the writer severely. The brother of the homicide victim was a bartender at a local bar in the Schuylkill neighborhood and Dexter went to the bar to talk to him because the family had called the newspaper to complain. Dexter was roughed up at that meeting and later returned with his friend heavyweight prizefighter Randall "Tex" Cobb. In the fight that occurred outside the bar in the street, Cobb received a broken arm that helped end his professional boxing career, and Dexter was hospitalized with several injuries, including a broken back, pelvic bone, brain damage, and dental devastation.
Paper Trails, published in 2007, is a compilation of columns he wrote for the Philadelphia Daily News and The Sacramento Bee from the 1970s to the 1990s.