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Owen Wister
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    (July 14, 1860-July 21, 1938)
    Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    Best known for writing the Western novel 'The Virginian' (1902)
    He was going to become a lawyer, but before he went to Harvard Law School, he suffered a mysterious breakdown, with symptoms that included vertigo, blinding headaches and hallucinations.
    Although known as 'the father of the Western,' he never wrote another Western after 'The Virginian.'
    Although a prolific author, writing everything from biographies and poems to an opera, he is remembered solely for 'The Virginian.'
    The New York Times suggested 'The Virginian' would be a disappointment to many modern readers: '[It] turned out to be not only corny and flag-waving but also intolerant and reactionary by today's standards.'
    At Harvard, he edited the Harvard Lampoon and wrote the Hasty Pudding Club's show 'DIdo and Aeneas.'
    A doctor ordered him to go West to cure his breakdown, and he became fascinated with the region.
    He was lifelong friends with fellow transplanted Easterners Teddy Roosevelt and Frederic Remington.
    'The Virginian' established the template for just about every Western that followed.

Credit: C. Fishel

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