Western Author Series: Larry McMurtry #2 of 6
CowboySpirit.TV - Welcome back to Part 2 of our Western Author Blog Series featuring Larry McMurtry. If you missed Part 1, introducing this famous author of western books, Here's a link to Part 1 if you'd like to catch up with us.
Unlike many authors, whose lives pale in comparison to the characters their imaginations creatively dream up, McMurtry is a rare breed. His life is more interesting and varied than most of the stories he has created. His distaste for speaking about his works is evident in any interview or biographically based piece you can find. His life passion is Books - in general - and definitely not his own. While he will help you locate a signed first-edition copy of any rare book you can think of, he'll usually refuse to sign your own first-edition of his western books. Although he says he despises the romanticized myth of the cowboy, it’s virtually impossible not to find connections between his irascible personality, and those of the Cowboy Hero.
Before we continue, we should start from the beginning with the birth of Larry Jeff McMurtry on June 3, 1936. He was born in Archer City, Texas. Archer City is a small town located about 30 miles southwest of Wichita Falls, Texas. For those of you who haven't brushed up on your Texas geography, it’s about 140 miles northwest of Dallas, resting just a little shy of the Oklahoma border. He grew up on his family's working cattle ranch and worked on that ranch until he was in his early twenties.
Rather than developing a love of ranching, McMurtry developed a love of reading. ClassicFirstEditions.com describes how, when he was six years old, McMurtry’s cousin enlisted in the Army and headed into the start of WWII. He left behind a box of 19 “adventure books.” Those books catapulted McMurtry into a lifelong book addiction. From that point forward he read anything he could get this hands on.
As are many avid readers, McMurtry was also a good writer. He was known in school as an honors student, a good writer, and a popular athlete. He got a B.A. from the University of North Texas, an M.A. from Rice University, located in Houston, and then did his post-graduate work at Stanford University. It was there he wrote the first of his many successful novels, Horseman, Pass By.
Next week we’ll review the literary works McMurtry has contributed and how his wordsmithing caught the eye of Hollywood early on.
If you haven’t already, please subscribe to the Cowboy Spirit Blog so you won’t miss a thing.
Download our FREE eBook, "The Spirit of the American Cowboy"