Western novelist Louis Dearborn L'Amour (1908-1988) was born Louis Dearborn LaMoore on this day in Jamestown, North Dakota, son of a veterinarian and grandson of a Civil War veteran.
The prolific L'Amour wrote five pages a day, including Sundays and holidays publishing over 100 books and 400 short stories; 45 of them became films or television movies.
"I think of myself in the oral tradition as a troubadour, a village tale-teller, the man in the shadows of the campfire. That’s the way I’d like to be remembered—as a storyteller. A good storyteller," L'Amour said.
His first big sale was Hondo (1953 which was made into a movie starring John Wayne. Wayne called the book "the best Western novel I have ever read." Two years later L'amour signed a book deal and promised to write two books a year.
A strong storyteller, he celebrated strong family ties, determination, and honor. As he captured life on the American frontier, L'amour's cowboy defined independence, strength, and heroism. Writing with passion, his novels were well-researched and paid attention to details.
"Victory is not won in miles, but in inches. Win a little now," L'Amour advised. "Hold your ground, and later win a little more."
Presidents Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan said they were big L'Amour fans. Reagan awarded the writer the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1984. L'Amour also received the Congressional Gold Medal. He was the first writer to have been so honored.
Let a rich memory echo in your heart today.