Author Profiles are contributed by Chris Bacon, Mason County District Library.

LOUIS L'AMOUR

Here are some interesting facts about the author Louis L’Amour:

 

Louis Dearborn Lamoore was born in Jamestown, North Dakota, in 1908 and was the seventh child.

 

His father was, Dr. Louis Charles LaMoore, and was a large-animal veterinarian who arrived in the Dakota Territory in 1882.

 

As a child he and his family worked as cattle skinners, hay balers, miners, and lumberjacks all across the Southwest and West.

 

As an adult he worked as a mine assessor, professional boxer, and merchant seaman.

 

Over his lifetime he visited all the Western states along with England, Japan, and China. Borneo, the Dutch East Indies, Arabia, Egypt, and Panama.

 

He changed his name to Louis L’Amour when he decided to pursue a career as a writer, but the over the course of his career he used several pen names like Jim Mayo and Tex Burns.

 

He started his career getting short stories published in pulp magazines.

 

During WW II he served in the US Army as a Lieutenant with the 3622nd Quartermaster Truck Company.

 

Even though he is most famous for Westerns, L’Amour has written non-fiction, historical fiction, contemporary thrillers, and Science Fiction.

He has over 100 novels and 250 short stories published.

 

Several of his books have been made into films including Hondo, Crossfire Trail, and numerous movies based on his western Sackett series.

 

ERNEST HEMINGWAY

Here are some fun and fascinating facts about the famous writer Ernest Hemingway.

 

He was born July 21, 1899 in Oak Park Illinois and died July 2, 1961 in Ketchum Idaho from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

 

He produced most of his work between the mid 1920’s and mid 1950’s.

 

He won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1953 and Nobel Prize in Literature in 1954.

 

He published seven novels, six short story collections, and two non-fiction works while he was alive.

 

Posthumously three novels, for short story collections, and three non-fiction works were published under his name.

 

He was a World War I ambulance driver.

 

He had four wives.

 

In 1952 while in Africa he was almost killed twice in plane crashes.

 

He lived part of the time in Cuba in the 1940’s and 50’s.

 

He was forced to learn the cello when he was a child.

 

When he was a child his family owned a summer home called Windemere on Walloon Lake, near Petoskey, Michigan.

 

He was seriously wounded by mortar fire and sustained severe shrapnel wounds to both legs in WW I.

 

He worked as a journalist and foreign correspondent in Paris, France, during the Spanish Civil War in 1937, and in Europe in WW II.

 

He was present at the Normandy landings in WW II.

 

He committed suicide with his “favorite” shotgun.

 

His father also committed suicide in 1928.

 

Both Ernest and his father had the genetic disease hemochromatosis which the inability to metabolize iron culminates in mental and physical deterioration.

 

His granddaughter Margaux Hemingway committed suicide in 1996 making her the fifth person in four generations of her family to commit suicide.

 

He described his writing style as the Iceberg Theory: the facts float above the water, the supporting structure and symbolism operating out of sight.

 

GORE VIDAL

Here are some fun and fascinating facts about the historical and political writer Gore Vidal:

 

Gore Vidal was born Eugene Louis Vidal on October 3, 1925 at West Point, New York.

 

Gore was born at the West Point cadet hospital because his father, first lieutenant Eugene Luther Vidal, was the first aeronautics instructor of the military academy.

 

Gore's maternal grandfather, Thomas Pryor Gore, served as a United States senator from Oklahoma from 1907 to 1921 and then again from 1931 to 1937.

 

Gore ran for elected office twice as a Democratic candidate losing both times in the primaries.

 

Gore ran for the US House of Representatives in New York in 1960 and the he ran for the Senate in 1982 in California.

 

Gore's father was the director of the Commerce Department's Bureau of Air Commerce during the Roosevelt Administration from 1933 to 1937.

 

Gore's father was also reported to be the great love of Amelia Earhart.

 

His mother, Nina Gore, divorced his father in 1935. She reportedly had a long off and on affair with the actor Clark Gable.

 

Gore's first published novel was “Williwaw”, men at war story inspired by his Alaskan Harbor Detachment duty during the Second World War.

 

His second novel published in 1948, “The City and the Pillar,” caused an uproar because of its depiction of the protagonist coming to terms with his homosexuality.

 

Gore wrote a seven book historical novel series related to the national politics.

 

The seven books in the series include: “Burr”, “1876”, “Lincoln”, “Empire”, “Hollywood”, “Washington D.C.”, and “The Golden Age.”

 

Gore was also produced numerous nonfiction books covering mostly politics and power.

 

Gore was also a script doctor for films. He worked on the script for “Ben-Hur.”

 

Gore had a partner, Howard Austen for 53 years, from 1950 until Howard's death in 2003.

 

On July 31, 2012 at the age of 86 Gore died of pneumonia at his home in Hollywood Hills, CA.