Award-winning novelist Elmer Kelton of San Angelo, Texas died Saturday, August 22, 2009. He was 83.
Elmer Kelton was the author of more than 60 fiction and nonfiction books, published over more than 50 years, including Texas Sunrise: Two Novels of the Texas Republic, and the forthcoming Other Men’s Horses, the latest in his “Texas Rangers” series. In 1995 his book The Good Old Boys was made into a TV movie starring Tommy Lee Jones for the TNT Cable Network.
Kelton’s writing won many awards, including the Western Heritage Award from the National Cowboy Hall of Fame (for The Time It Never Rained and The Good Old Boys, among others). He also was a 7-time recipient of the Spur award from Western Writers of America, who also voted him "Best Western Author of All Time."
He was a native of Crane, Texas. After graduation from Crane High School he attended the University of Texas at Austin, earning a B.A. degree in journalism. He spent 15 years as farm and ranch writer-editor for the San Angelo Standard-Times, five years as editor of Sheep and Goat Raiser Magazine and 22 years as associate editor of Livestock Weekly, from which he retired in 1990. He served two years in the U. S. Army, 1944-46, including combat infantry service in Europe.
The Texas Legislature proclaimed Elmer Kelton Day in April 1997. In 1998 he received the first Lone Star award for lifetime Achievement from the Larry McMurtry Center for Arts and Humanities at Midwestern State University. He also received honorary doctorates from Hardin-Simmons University and Texas Tech University.
He is survived by his wife Ann, a native of Austria, two grown sons, a daughter, four grandchildren, five great-grandchildren, and one great-great grandchild.
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