Biography (Cyclopedia of World Authors, Fourth Revised Edition)
General readers and historians have accepted Jack Warner Schaefer(SHAY-fur) as both a gifted twentieth century storyteller and a writer of the American West. However, academics have largely ignored his works as major American fiction. His parents, Carl Walter Schaefer, a lawyer, and Minnie Luella Hively Schaefer, were avid readers who instilled in the young boy a love of words and reading.
Schaefer’s writing career began as editor of his high school literary magazine and continued after he entered Oberlin College in 1935 and through part of his graduate study at Columbia University. Because of his biased interest in motion pictures, his proposed thesis plan on the development of the movie industry was not approved. This proved a turning point in Schaefer’s literary pursuits. Leaving the university after one semester, he worked in journalism and education. In 1931 he married Eugenia Hammond Ives and divorced her in 1948. He married Louise Wilhide Dean in 1949, and they had four children. Schaefer lived in several eastern cities, working as a journalist, and wrote Western stories. He moved to Gunnison, Colorado, and later to Cerillos, New Mexico, where he lived until his death.
Throughout Schaefer’s prolific writing career, the characteristics of clarity in detail, simplicity, conciseness, and originality based on scholarly and historical research continued. His first book, Shane, began as a three-part serial story for...
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Jack Warner Schaefer was born on November 19, 1907, in Cleveland, Ohio. He graduated from Oberlin College in 1929 and attended Columbia University before setting out on a varied career as a reporter, an educator in the Connecticut State Reformatory, an editor for a series of eastern newspapers, and finally an associate in a New Haven, Connecticut, advertising agency. Only in his early forties did Schaefer turn to fiction. He scored an immediate success with Shane, a novel the Western Writers of America honored as the best Western novel ever written. Schaefer now lives on a ranch near Sante Fe, New Mexico.
Schaefer has said that he likes to write about the West during the period when people were affected by the wildness of the land and the challenge of frontier life. This material carries a natural appeal for many young adults. While virtually all of Schaefer's books may be read for entertainment and instruction, Shane and Old Ramon (his one book aimed specifically at a juvenile audience) have proved to be the most popular among young readers.
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Jack Warner Schaefer was born on November 19, 1907, in Cleveland, Ohio, an unlikely birthplace for a writer primarily concerned with the history and characters of the American West. He received a bachelor's degree from Oberlin College in 1929 and attended Columbia University in New York City before beginning a varied career as a United Press reporter, an educator in the Connecticut State Reformatory, an editor for a series of eastern newspapers, and finally an associate in a New Haven, Connecticut, advertising agency. Schaefer did not turn to free-lance writing until he was in his early forties, but he scored an immediate success with his first novel, Shane, most of which was written in Norfolk, Virginia.
That novel, perhaps the most famous and most celebrated of all westerns, had a difficult birth. Schaefer submitted an early version of the book to Argosy magazine, but he forgot to include return postage with his typescript, an oversight that could have resulted in the rejection of the work. Nonetheless, in 1946 Argosy published the tale under the title Rider from Nowhere as a three-part serial. Unfortunately, Schaefer's name was misspelled on the cover of the issue containing the first installment of his novel.
Subsequent years have been kinder to Shane. The publishing house Houghton Mifflin put out the revised novel in 1949, and it has enjoyed solid sales ever since. By 1951 Shane was selling eight thousand...
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