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Larry McMurtry was born in June 1936, in Wichita Falls, Texas, into a family of ranchers. His grandparents were pioneers, settling in Archer County when west Texas was still primarily vast, empty prairie. While his father and eight uncles were all cowboys, Mr. McMurtry as a young person had a real passion for whatever books he could get his hands on growing up in the small Texas town of Archer City. He began learning cowboying at the age of three, when he got his first horse, and didn't give it up completely until the age of twenty-three, when he left the family ranch to further his studies.

After receiving his B.A. from North Texas State College and his M.A. from Rice University, where he wrote two novels in his first year, Mr. McMurtry went to Stanford University in 1960 to do graduate work as a Stegner fellow. His first novel, Horseman Pass By, was published in 1961, and became the basis for the motion picture Hud, starring Paul Newman. The Last Picture Show was published in 1966, and shortly after became the Academy Award-winning motion picture. When Lonesome Dove was published in 1986, it received critical acclaim -- hailed as the great cowboy novel and the grandest novel ever written of the American West -- and was awarded the Pulitzer Prize. It later became a highly successful television series. Mr. McMurtry's other novels include Terms of Endearment, Anything for Billy, Texasville, and the Lonesome Dove prequel Comanche Moon and sequel Streets of Laredo. He is the author of two collections of essays, twenty-two novels, and five works of nonfiction.

Mr. McMurtry served a two-year term as president of PEN American Center in New York City. He operates antiquarian bookstores in Washington, D.C., Arizona, and Texas, and currently resides in his old hometown, Archer City, where he is actively fulfilling his boyhood dream of filling it up with books.

Library of Congress subject headings for this publication: Cattle drives Fiction, Cowboys Fiction