Larry McMurtry Wiki – Biography
He was an American novelist, essayist, bookseller, and screenwriter, and his work was predominantly set in the Old West or contemporary Texas. His novels include Horseman, Pass By (1962), The Last Picture Show (1966), and Terms of Endearment (1975), which were adapted into films. The films based on McMurtry’s works earned 34 Oscar nominations (13 wins).
The 1985 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel Lonesome Dove was adapted into a television miniseries that won 18 Emmy Award nominations (seven wins). The next three novels in the Lonesome Dove series were adapted into three more miniseries and earned eight more Emmy nominations. McMurtry and reporter Diana Ossana adapted the script for Brokeback Mountain (2005), which earned eight Academy Award nominations with three wins in McMurtry and Ossana’s Best Adapted Screenplay. McMurtry received the National Humanities Medal in 2014.
McMurtry was born in Archer City, Texas, 40 km from Wichita Falls, Texas, to Hazel Ruth (née McIver) and rancher William Jefferson McMurtry. He grew up on a farm outside of Archer City. The city was a model for the town of Thalia, which was a setting for most of his fiction. He received degrees from the University of North Texas (BA 1958) and Rice University (M.A. 1960).
McMurtry said in his memoirs that during the first five or six years he spent at his grandfather’s farmhouse there were no books, but his extended family would sit on the porch every night and tell stories. In 1942, when his cousin Robert Hilburn was about to join World War II, he stopped by the farmhouse and left a box containing 19 books. McMurtry then started reading. The books were the standard men’s adventure tales of the 1930s, and he read non-stop. The first book he read was Sergeant Silk: The Prairie Scout.
Larry McMurtry Dies at 84
Larry McMurtry, a prolific writer who mostly wrote about the American West and won a Pulitzer for his extensive novel “Lonesome Dove,” has died, a family spokesperson said on Thursday. He was 84 years old.
Spokesperson Amanda Lundberg confirmed McMurtry’s death on NBC News Friday. Other details are currently unavailable.
For more than half a century, McMurtry has written almost 50 books, including novels, scripts, essay collections, and memoirs, mainly set in the West. His first works were feature films such as Oscar-winning “The Last Picture Show” and “Terms of Endearment”.
The epic 1985 novel “Lonesome Dove”, which focuses on a cattle ride from Texas to the Great Plains, was later adapted into a popular television miniseries starring Robert Duvall, Tommy Lee Jones and Danny Glover.
The four-part television series won several awards, including 18 Emmy nominations and seven wins. In an interview with The Associated Press in 2014, McMurtry said the novel was an “attempt to dispel the Old West myth.”
Later, McMurtry and his longtime collaborator Diana Ossana won an Academy Award for best adapted script for the 2005 movie “Brokeback Mountain” based on a short story by Annie Proulx.
He graduated from North Texas State College, currently the University of North Texas at Denton, and entered Rice University in Houston for his master’s degree.
Larry McMurtry Career
In the 1960-1961 academic year, McMurtry was a Wallace Stegner Fellow at the Creative Writing Center at Stanford University, where he was alongside Frank O’Connor and Malcolm Cowley, Ken Kesey, Peter S. Beagle and Gurney Norman. Wallace Stegner was on leave in Europe during McMurtry’s scholarship year.
McMurtry and Kesey remained friends after leaving McMurtry California and returned to Texas to teach for a year at Texas Christian University.  He returned to Rice University in 1963, where he taught English until 1969. He entertained his first students with Hollywood accounts and Hud movies that he was his consultant. In 1964, Kesey and the Happy Pranksters made their remarkable cross-country travel, stopping at McMurtry’s home in Houston. The adventure in Furthur, the day-glo-painted school bus, is described by Tom Wolfe in his book The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test.
In the same year, McMurtry was awarded the Guggenheim Fellowship. McMurtry also won the Jesse H. Jones Award from the Texas Institute of Letters three times: Pass By, for Horseman in 1962; For The Last Picture Show, which Tom Pendleton shared with The Iron Orchard in 1967; and for Lonesome Dove in 1986. Also in 1966, Texas: Good Times Gone or Here Again? In 1986, McMurtry received the Peggy V. Helmerich Distinguished Writer Award. The Helmerich Award is awarded annually by the Tulsa Library Trust.
McMurtry described the method of novel writing in Books: A Memoir. She says she’s going to get up early and throw out the five-page narrative from her first novel. When he published the memoir in 2008, he said that even though he had written 10 pages a day by then, it was still his method. She also writes every day, ignoring holidays and weekends.
McMurtry contributed regularly to the New York Review of Books.  He served as the president of PEN.
Used bookstore businesses
While at Stanford, McMurtry became a rare book hunter. During her years in Houston she managed a bookstore called Bookman. She moved to the Washington DC area in 1969. She opened a bookstore called Booked Up in Georgetown with her two partners in 1970. In 1988, he opened another Booked Up in Archer City. It has become one of the largest used bookstores in the United States, carrying between 400,000 and 450,000 books. Referring to the economic pressures from selling books on the internet, McMurtry came close to closing the Archer City store in 2005, but chose to keep it open after massive public support.
In early 2012, McMurtry decided to shrink and sell most of its inventory. He thought the collection was a liability for his heirs. The auction took place on 10 and 11 August 2012 and was supervised by Addison and Sarova Auctors in Macon, Georgia. This epic book auction sold books on the shelf and was billed as “The Last Booksale,” in line with McMurtry’s The Last Picture Show title. Vendors, collectors and hunters from all over the country came out en masse to witness this historic auction. As McMurtry pointed out at the sale weekend, “I’ve never seen a lot of people line up in Archer City, and I’m sure I’ll never do it again.”